The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks rally to down top-ranked Tigers

A week and a half ago, Chad Holbrook’s South Carolina baseball team looked out of it. Having lost back to back series against bottom dwellers Tennessee and Auburn and heading into series against the top two teams in the nations, the Gamecocks were down for the count.

But the offense came alive, giving South Carolina a spark of life for the first time in months.

No. 1 LSU looked the part early, jumping out to a 6-2 lead, chasing South Carolina starter Jack Wynkoop with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth inning. That’s when Holbrook and pitching coach Jerry Meyers called on freshman right-hander Brandon Murray. Murray quickly forced player of the year candidate Alex Bregman to ground into an inning ending double play.

The Gamecocks scored four runs in the bottom of the frame, capped by a D.C. Arendas two-run home run to tie the game. The Gamecocks added four more in the seventh — three on bases loaded walks — to take a 10-6 lead. LSU scored one in the ninth but could not overcome the deficit.

Offense firing on all cylinders

The 10 runs scored by the Gamecocks actually lowers their scoring average for the last six games. The Gamecocks have scored 63 runs in that span, two more than their total in the 16 games prior to that.

In four games against Texas A&M and LSU, the Gamecocks are averaging 10.25 runs per contest. Even more impressive is that all but today’s game came without star second baseman Max Schrock. Schrock has been in and out of the lineup with a myriad of injuries, most notably a sprained right wrist.

After the game, Holbrook revealed that Schrock had not picked up a bat in a week until batting practice, two hours before first pitch. Schrock torched the Tigers, going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs.

Pitchers allow for comeback

Though the Gamecocks were down by four runs early, the pitchers were able to keep the game close. Wynkoop was not himself on the mound, allowing five earned runs in 5.1 innings, well above his 2.83 ERA coming into the game. Still, he kept it close. The junior lefty allowed 11 hits but walked none.

After inducing a double play to end the sixth inning, Murray gave up a single and a walk in the seventh and was relieved by sophomore Reed Scott. The righty pitched the final three innings, giving up three hits and a run earning the win, his second of the season.

Up Next

The Gamecocks will play two more at home against the Tigers before the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. Friday’s first pitch will be at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. SEC Network will televise Saturday’s series finale, also scheduled for 8 p.m.