The No. 11 South Carolina baseball team dropped its first midweek game of the season to Charlotte 6-2 on Tuesday night.
South Carolina's offense struggled to put anything together, finishing the game with seven hits while leaving 11 runners on base at the end of innings.
The Gamecocks had the bases loaded in the second inning after three consecutive walks with two outs. However, a flyout from freshman infielder/outfielder Will Tippett ended the inning before any runs could score.
South Carolina tried to mount a late comeback and scored a run in the top of the ninth inning when senior infielder Braylen Wimmer hit a single to score sophomore catcher Talmadge LeCroy. Sophomore catcher Cole Messina — who led the Gamecocks' offense with two hits in five at bats — came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and had a chance to tie the game, but instead grounded out to the 49ers' shortstop to end the game.
The South Carolina offense struggled overall, striking out 13 times and hitting no home runs despite coming in leading the country with an average of 2.67 home runs per game. The top third of the Gamecocks's lineup — Senior infielder Will McGillis, Wimmer and junior infielder Gavin Casas — went 3-for-13 at the plate with five strikeouts.
Freshman pitcher Eli Jerzembeck made his second collegiate start for the Gamecocks. He pitched for 2.2 innings, giving up four earned runs and five hits while striking out four batters before being pulled in the third inning.
The third inning was the toughest for Jerzembeck, as he gave up five total runs and retired just two Charlotte batters before being replaced. A throwing error from sophomore infielder Michael Braswell allowed the 49ers an extra base and the unearned run in the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Eli Jones came on in relief of Jerzembeck in the third, staying on for 3.1 innings while giving up one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
Sophomore pitcher Matthew Becker and redshirt sophomore pitcher Cade Austin finished the game with one scoreless inning each after Jones exited.
South Carolina will continue its season with a three-game series against No. 22 Missouri in the Gamecocks' first ranked matchup of the season. The series starts on Friday on the SEC Network. The Saturday game will stream on SEC Network +, and the final game will be back on the linear network on Sunday.