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April 2, 2016

Box Score

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Second ranked South Carolina broke out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning, but third ranked Vanderbilt struck for five runs in the bottom half of the frame and would add four more runs in the sixth and seventh on the way to a 10-6 victory to claim the three-game series. Carolina remains in first place in the SEC with a 24-5 overall record and a 7-2 league mark. Vanderbilt is now 23-5 and 6-3 in the SEC.

Vanderbilt reliever Matt Ruppenthal earned the win in relief allowing two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings to improve to 2-1 on the year. Ben Bowden picked up his fourth save of the season with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. Gamecock reliever Tyler Johnson suffered the loss and is now 0-1 for the season. HE allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits in three innings with a walk and three strikeouts.

South Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Jonah Bride belted a two-run homer. John Jones would reach base with a one-out walk. On a 3-2 pitch, Bride launched his first career homer as a Gamecock over the wall in left field.

Vanderbilt got a run back in the bottom half of the first. Ro Coleman was hit by a pitch to open the inning. He would steal second base and score on Alonzo Jones’ two-our RBI single just off the glove of first baseman LT Tolbert into right field.

Carolina would get another key two-out two-run hit in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. This time, Dom Thompson-Williams struck with a two-run single. DC Arendas led off with a single and Gene Cone walked with one out. With both runners on second and third with two outs, Thompson-Williams knocked a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a base hit to give Carolina a three-run cushion.

The Commodores would strike back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-4 lead. Ro Coleman and Jeren Kendall opened the frame with consecutive doubles to cut the Gamecock lead to a pair of runs. After Bryan Reynolds walked, Alonzo Jones lifted a double to right field to score Kendall and cut Carolina’s lead to a run. With runners on second and third with one out, a dropped fly in left field by Thompson-Williams would allow a run to score to tie the game. Penn Murfee would drive in two then to give Vanderbilt a two-run lead with a double to center field.

Carolina tied it at 6-6 in the sixth on a two-run homer from DC Arendas his second of the season. After TJ Hopkins reached base on a two-out walk, Arendas launched a 0-1 pitch to right field.

Vanderbilt regained the lead with a solo home run by Jeren Kendall in the bottom of the sixth inning. They would scratch across three more runs in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI base hit from Penn Murfee followed up by a one-out squeeze play on a bunt from Tyler Campbell to score a pair of runs.

The three-run seventh inning extended Vanderbilt’s lead to four runs.

After just one hit in the first four innings, the Commodores tallied four doubles in the fifth and three more hits in the sixth and seventh innings on the way to the win.

Gene Cone extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a base hit in the ninth inning.

Dom Thompson-Williams and DC Arendas both had two hits apiece with two runs driven in to lead Carolina at the plate. Jonah Bride had two RBIs as well. All six runs the Gamecocks scored came with two outs.

Head Coach Chad Holbrook

“I was happy with a lot of things I saw this weekend. We opened the door for them in the fifth inning and they walked through it. You can’t do that against a real good team. You have to play as good if not better as the opponent in critical times and we didn’t play better than our opponent today. We fought through some adversity and came back and tied the game. Good to see DC swing the bat the way that he did. I walk out of here thinking we left the door open for them and didn’t make plays like we normally make. I know it was difficult conditions today but it was difficult conditions for them too.”

“I have a good group. I walk away feeling good with the first 9 games in the SEC and halfway through the regular season. I am proud of the team with where we are at.”

South Carolina returns home to begin a four-game homestand on Tuesday night vs. Coastal Carolina. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Founders Park The game will be televised live on the SEC Network and can be heard Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game. The Gamecocks will return to SEC action next weekend hosting Tennessee in a three-game series.