Baseball ends five-game losing streak in Auburn
When the South Carolina baseball team traveled to Auburn this weekend for a three-game set against the Tigers, it looked like the wheels had officially fallen off for the Gamecocks.
The team had dropped four straight, including its first two nonconference losses of the year to Charleston Southern and The Citadel, and in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, South Carolina extended the skid to five games.
But the Gamecocks found new life in the ninth inning of Saturday’s second game, picking up a 3-2 victory over Auburn after a two-run ninth inning and bring the losing streak to a screeching halt.
Entering the ninth frame down 2-1 Saturday evening, the South Carolina rally was sparked by a double from freshman Gene Cone that brought in one run. The Gamecocks took the lead for good after an RBI single from freshman Jordan Gore.
“Sometimes one win is more important than one win,” head coach Chad Holbrook said. “This was probably one of those.”
Sophomore Jack Wynkoop went seven innings and allowed two runs on eight hits in the second game of the doubleheader, but it was junior Cody Mincey that picked up the win after tossing one shutout inning in which he allowed one hit.
Sunday’s rubber match went down to the wire as well after the two teams entered the eighth inning tied at three runs apiece.
After Cone drove in the tying run a day earlier, his sacrifice fly brought home the winner Sunday in the top of the eighth.
“We came out loose and came to the park in a better frame of mind today,” Holbrook said.
Freshman starting pitcher Wil Crowe went 5 2/3 innings in the series finale, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out six. Another reliever earned the win Sunday, as junior Joel Seddon was credited after allowing two hits in his 2 1/3 innings of work to close out the contest.
In Friday’s 4-2 loss, junior ace Jordan Montgomery picked up a tough third loss of the season after allowing just four hits in a complete-game effort.
This weekend’s SEC series victory at Auburn was South Carolina’s first since completing a three-game sweep of Tennessee in March.
With just four series left in conference play, Holbrook said the victory over the Tigers will go a long way in bringing the Gamecocks back to their early-season form.
“It was a big win for us and a big weekend for us,” Holbrook said. “Finding a way to win a big series on the road like this, I hope it gives us some momentum going forward.”