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Row's Walk-Off Single Lifts Gamecocks to 6-5 Win over Alabama
Baseball  . 

Row's Walk-Off Single Lifts Gamecocks to 6-5 Win over Alabama

March 25, 2017

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. ââ’¬” Junior infielder Justin Row’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted fourth ranked South Carolina to a 6-5 win on Saturday afternoon at Founders Park. The Gamecocks improve to 16-6 and 4-1 in the SEC with Alabama now 12-11 and 1-4 in league play.

Trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Gamecocks rallied to tie it against Alabama reliever Davis Vainer. Jonah Bride would lead off with a walk and with two outs advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Carolina would then summon Danny Blair off the bench to run for Bride and the sophomore outfielder would score the tying run on a pair of wild pitches from Vainer.

With the score deadlocked at 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Hunter Taylor led off with a walk to give the Gamecocks a runner on first with no outs. LT Tolbert put runners on first and second then with a base hit to left field on a 1-2 pitch from Vainer. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, TJ Hopkins drew a one-out walk to load the bases and set the stage for Justin Row. On a 2-0 pitch, Row belted a liner to left out of the reach of Alabama outfielder Logan Carey for a RBI single to set off the celebration at Founders Park.

Senior left-hander Josh Reagan picked up his third win of the season and is now 3-0 on the season. He gave three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of relief. Junior right-hander Wil Crowe threw 6.1 innings with two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in no-decision for Carolina. Alabama’s freshman right-hander Davis Vainer suffered the loss to drop to 0-2 on the year. He gave up two runs on two hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.

South Carolina went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chris Cullen led off with a single up the middle and advanced to third on an error by Chandler Avant on a hit from Jacob Olson. Hunter Taylor drove Cullen in with a single to right and LT Tolbert loaded the bases with a bunt down the first base line. With the bases loaded and no outs, Madison Stokes drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, scampering down the line to avoid the double play. TJ Hopkins lifted a sac fly to left to score Taylor to give the Gamecocks a three-run lead.

Carolina increased the lead to 4-0 in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, thanks to singles by Olson and Tolbert and a walk by Stokes, TJ Hopkins knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Alabama responded in the top of the seventh with a one-run single by Hunter Alexander and a sac fly by Connor Short to cut the Gamecocks’ lead in half. The Crimson Tide added a run in the top of the eighth after Avant and Kyle Kaufman each singled to led off the inning and Cody Henry lifted a sac fly to bring Alabama within one run.

A solo homer to right by Chandler Taylor in the top of the ninth tied the game at 4-4. With runners on first and third and no outs, the Crimson Tide would take a 5-4 lead on a double play ball off the bat of Chandler Avant.

Justin Row’s walk-off single to right field lifted the Gamecocks to the win over Alabama to even the series.

Seven of the nine Gamecock starters recorded at least one hit, with LT Tolbert leading South Carolina at the plate after going 3-for-5 with three singles.

Matt Williams has safely reached base in 20 consecutive games this season. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.
– Saturday’s sellout crowd (8,242) is the fourth of the season and 52nd of all time.
LT Tolbert tied a career-high three hits. He has had five three-hit games in his career and two games this season with three hits, his most recent being February 28 vs. Appalachian State.

Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“It’s typical of this league. Every team is so evenly matched it comes down to a play here, a play there. Our kids played hard. We didn’t necessarily play well all the time, offensively we are making our pitchers be a little bit perfect right now. I’m disappointed in a few opportunities. But that being said we found a way to win a huge game, we’ll live to fight another day. I can’t say enough for Justin Row. The kid is a joy to have in the dugout, he’s a joy to have on the field, but he’s a joy to have in the dugout too when he’s not playing. He stays in the game every pitch, he sees things some of our coaches don’t see. He’s going to be a hell of a coach some day and he’s a pretty darn good player. It was good to see him step up at such a big moment for himself, and for our team. I’m just thrilled we found a way to win. The life in this league is tough, it’s a quick turn around and we’ll have to strap it on and try and play well tomorrow.”

UP NEXT South Carolina is back in action on Sunday, March 26 at Noon for the final game in the three-game series with Alabama at Founders Park. It will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”