Abigail Green / The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock baseball defeats North Carolina with homers from Eyster, Hopkins

The South Carolina men's baseball team traveled to Charlotte, faced off against No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels took home a 5-2 win on Tuesday.

The Gamecocks came into the match after winning just one of the three games of their away weekend series against Florida.

Head coach Mark Kingston sent out freshman right-hand pitcher Daniel Lloyd to start the game for the Gamecocks, while the Tar Heels elected to throw junior right-hander Andrew Grogan.

Despite not surrendering a single run, Lloyd was only allowed to pitch the first two innings in which he struck out one batter, walked two and gave up two hits. 

Lloyd was pulled at the top of the third inning in favor of freshman Dylan Harley. 

Harley went the next few innings striking out six batters and only gave up one hit, but it was a two-run homer in the sixth inning to junior Tar Heels first baseman Michael Busch. For the Tar Heels, it would be the only offense of the game.

The remainder of the game was pitched by senior Gage Hinson, sophomore John Gilreath and freshman Brett Kerry, who picked up his fourth save of the year.  

Offensively, the Gamecocks started off quick, scratching across the first run of the game in the second with an RBI double by freshman outfielder Brady Allen. Senior outfielder TJ Hopkins came through in the following inning with an RBI single to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead. 

Sophomore outfielder Andrew Eyster belted the first homer of the game, his seventh on the season. It was a solo shot in the fourth, along with a Quinntin Perez sacrifice fly, that gave the Gamecocks a 4-0 lead going into the fifth inning.

The Tar Heels struck back in the sixth with the previously mentioned two-run bomb by Busch to bring the score to 4-2, but a solo homer by Hopkins in the seventh was the last run that crossed home plate. 

Harley was awarded the win, bringing his record back to .500, as it currently sits at 2-2. 

Grogan was awarded the loss, his first of the season. His season record is now 2-1.

The Gamecocks will soon host No. 7 Texas A&M. With the SEC championship and possible NCAA tournament slots up for grabs, this conference series is big for both teams. 

The first of the three-game series at Founders Park is on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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