May 15, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams went 3-for-3 with a pair of homers, three RBI and four runs scored and junior left-hander Josh Reagan worked 4.1 innings of relief to earn a win as third ranked South Carolina defeated second ranked Texas A&M 10-7 on Sunday afternoon at Founders Park. The Gamecocks are 38-13 and 17-9 in the SEC, one game behind Florida for first place in the conference. Texas A&M is now 39-11 and 18-9 in league play.
Reagan entered the game in the third inning and allowed just two runs on three hits in 4.1 innings of work with a pair of strikeouts. He is now 2-2 on the year. Texas A&M starter Kyle Simonds suffered the loss and is now 8-2 on the year. He allowed four runs on three hits in 2.1 innings. Gamecock sophomore right-hander Tyler Johnson came on in the ninth inning to strike out Austin Homan with a runner on first to earn his sixth save of the season.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning as Thompson-Williams led off with a solo home run to right field. The Aggies responded in the top of the third with a three-run homer to center by Hunter Melton. After Nick Choruby singled through the left side and Boomer White walked, Melton drove them in with a two-out shot to give the Aggies a two-run lead.
The Gamecocks reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third with a four-run frame highlighted by a three-run homer by Thompson-Williams, his second of the day. Cone walked with one out and Mooney was hit by a pitch to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Alex Destino would drive in Cone with a RBI single to fight field. On the play, Texas A&M right fielder Nick Banks misplayed the base hit allowing Destino to reach second base. Aggies shortstop Austin Homan could not corral the throw and Mooney broke from third to home to tie the game at 3-3. Texas A&M would go to the bullpen for left-hander Ty Schlottmann. That set the stage for Thompson-Williams, who launched a homer over the right field wall to give Carolina a 5-3 lead.
Texas A&M picked up a run in the top of the fifth, but South Carolina answered in the bottom of the fifth with three runs. After walks to Thompson-Williams, John Jones and Jonah Bride loaded the bases, Thompson-Williams would eventually score on a wild pitch. Clark Scolamiero executed a squeeze to score Jones and LT Tolbert drove in Bride with a two-out single to right field giving the Gamecocks an 8-4 lead.
Ronnie Gideon led off the top of the sixth inning with a home run to right field to bring the Aggies within three runs. The Gamecocks would get single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to go ahead 10-5. Mooney came through with a two-out RBI single in the seventh and DC Arendas drove in a run with a successful squeeze bunt to give the Gamecocks a five-run advantage. Texas A&M looked to rally one more time in the ninth inning as Ryne Birk belted a two-run homer, but that would be it for the Aggies.
Thompson-Williams’ second homer of the afternoon gave Carolina a lead that they would not relinquish.
South Carolina’s top four hitters in the lineup batting 1-4 went 7-for-13 at the plate with seven runs scored and five runs driven in.
– Dom Thompson-Williams recorded his first two-home run game of his career. Today marked the third time this season that a Gamecock has hit two home runs in a game. Alex Destino has a pair of two-homer games as well.
– The 11 walks in today’s game for the Gamecocks were a season-high at the plate, besting the previous mark of nine set on Opening Day vs. Albany.
– The Gamecocks executed five sacrifice bunts to set a season-high.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
This was a big win for us. I feel a little bit of relief. I haven’t had that happy feeling sink in yet because it was an important game for a lot of reasons. I was worried a little bit about our psyche coming to the park today. When you’re not feeling good about yourself and you’re playing a game of that magnitude, sometimes it wont work out for you. Luckily our team showed some moxie, competed and almost willed their way to win the game. Then we got some big swings of the bat by Dom [Thompson-Williams] and some good pitching to close it out. That’s a great team that we played all weekend. To get a win today after what happened the first two days is a good feeling to have going into the last weekend of the regular season. We have an important game Tuesday against The Citadel before we go to Tuscaloosa. I’m sure it’s going to be a challenge down there with the way that they are playing. That’s life in the SEC though. 38-13 and 17-9, I would have signed up for it. Now let’s see if we can go play our best baseball the last week of the regular season.
South Carolina hosts The Citadel on Tuesday in the final home game of the regular season at Founders Park. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. It will be broadcast live on the SEC Network + and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”