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Baseball Defeats Alabama 6-4 In Series Opener
Baseball  . 

Baseball Defeats Alabama 6-4 In Series Opener

May 19, 2016

Box Score

TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – Senior infielder Marcus Mooney broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out two-run single in the top of the sixth inning and right-handers Reed Scott and Tyler Johnson combined for 4.1 scoreless innings of relief as sixth ranked South Carolina defeated Alabama 6-4 on Thursday night in the series opener at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Gamecocks are 40-13 and 18-9 in the SEC with Alabama 31-22 and 15-13 in league play. The Gamecocks have won 40 or more games in 16 of the last 17 seasons.

Scott earned the win and is now 4-1 on the year after 2.1 scoreless innings of work with three strikeouts. Johnson allowed just one hit in two innings of relief with two strikeouts for his seventh save of the year. Alabama reliever Ray Castillo suffered the loss and is 0-2 on the year. He allowed two runs on a hit in 0.2 innings.

South Carolina went ahead 1-0 in the top of the second inning. Dom Thompson-Williams led off with a single and advanced to third on Jonah Bride’s double to left field. Chris Cullen would drive in Thompson-Williams with a sac fly to center field.

A dropped fly ball with two outs in the top of the fourth would give the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead. With two outs and runners on the corners, John Jones lifted a fly ball into left-center. On the play, Alabama left fielder Keith Holcombe called off shortstop Daniel Cucjen, but dropped the ball allowing both Bride and Cullen to score.

Carolina increased the lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth. Madison Stokes led off with a single and DC Arendas walked to open the frame. Gene Cone then set down a perfect bunt in front of home to reach first on a base hit. On the play, Stokes never let up and rounded third and scored to give the Gamecocks a four-run advantage.

Alabama answered in the bottom half of the fifth to score four runs and tie the game. After Holcombe reached base with a one-out walk, Vance launched the first pitch he saw over the left-center wall to make it 4-2. Georgie Salem would be hit by a pitch and Chandler Taylor doubled to right field to give the Crimson Tide a pair of runners. With two outs, Cody Henry laced a 3-1 pitch into left field to knot the game at 4-4.

Carolina regained the lead in the top of the sixth with Marcus Mooney coming through with a big two-out two-run single. Cullen doubled off the wall in left field to open the frame, Stokes was hit by a pitch and Cone walked with two outs to set the stage for Mooney. On a 2-1 pitch, Mooney knocked a RBI single into left to give the Gamecocks a two-run lead.

Scott worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth inning with two outs as he fanned Will Haynie on a strikeout to keep the Gamecocks ahead by a pair of runs.

Mooney’s two-run single helped lift Carolina to the victory.

The Gamecocks out-hit Alabama 11-10 with four players with multi-hit games. Stokes went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, Mooney was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Cullen 2-for-3 with two runs and a RBI and Thompson-Williams 2-for-4 with a run scored. The Gamecocks are now 22-1 on the year with 10 or more hits.

The Gamecocks are 30-4 on the year when scoring first, 28-3 when out-hitting its opponent and 36-1 when leading after the sixth inning. South Carolina is also 17-8 in games decided by three runs or less.

Stokes tied a career-high with his three-hit performance on Thursday night.

Head Coach Chad Holbrook

Maybe as big a win we’ve had this year considering the circumstances and kind of how the game unfolded. Clarke (Schmidt) didn’t have his best stuff and didn’t have great command, but he battled. Usually when we are up 4-0 with Clarke on the mound it looks good for us, but they fought back and tied it. We didn’t lose our composure and we stayed the course. We responded back with that big two-out hit from Mooney. Reed and Tyler were terrific, throwing strikes and we played defense behind them. It was a big night for us, a big win, 40th win. Proud of my team for handling adversity the right way and bouncing back and getting a big win on the road.

South Carolina and Alabama meet on Friday night in game two of the series. First pitch is 8 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”