No. 12 South Carolina 5, Tennessee 4
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Max Schrock’s one-out RBI double in the top of the ninth inning scored LB Dantzler and helped lift No. 12 South Carolina to a 5-4 win over Tennessee on Friday evening in the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the score deadlocked at 4, the Gamecocks (24-7, 6-4) caught a break in the top of the ninth as a fielding error by third baseman Will Maddox allowed Dantzler to reach base to open the inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved Dantzler into scoring position, Schrock put USC ahead by a run as he launched a 1-0 pitch from Zack Godley over the head of center fielder Pierce Bily for an RBI double.
Tennessee (13-15, 3-7) looked to mount one more rally in the ninth as Jeff Moberg led off with a walk against Tyler Webb. That would be it for the Volunteers though as Webb retired the next three batters in order. Maddox fouled off a bunt attempt on a nice diving play by third baseman Chase Vergason, followed by strikeouts of A.J. Simcox and Scott Price.
“It was a good feeling,” said Schrock. “It was a fastball up in the zone and I was trying not to do too much with it. I stuck the barrel out there and hit it good.”
Webb (1-1) earned the win in relief in 12/3 innings of work with just one run allowed, unearned on one hit with a walk and four strikeouts.
Godley (2-3) suffered the loss. He allowed one run, unearned, on one hit in an inning of work.
The Gamecocks broke ahead first in the game in the second inning with an unearned off of Tennessee starter Aaron Quillen. With one out, Schrock reached base after catcher’s interference as his bat hit the mitt of Tennessee catcher David Houser. Carolina would load the bases then as walks to Brison Celek and Grayson Greiner set the stage for Tanner English, who drove in Schrock with a sacrifice fly to center.
Tennessee would manufacture a pair of runs to go ahead 2-1 on the Gamecocks in the third inning.
South Carolina answered with a run in the top of the fourth to tie it at 2. Greiner led off with a walk and after a sacrifice by English would score on Graham Saiko’s double to the gap in right center.
The Gamecocks regained the lead in the eighth inning with a pair of runs. Schrock walked to lead off followed by a single by Celek and a single by Greiner to load the bases. A wild pitch would allow Schrock to score and Vergason was hit by a pitch to put Carolina ahead.
The Volunteers responded in the bottom half to tie it at 4.
South Carolina had seven hits with Tennessee with five for the contest.
Greiner went 2 for3 and also walked twice. Schrock went 1 for 2 with two runs and two walks as well.
Scott Price went 2 for5 to lead Tennessee at the plate.
The series continues today with first pitch at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on SportSouth.