Gardner-Webb 7, No. 15 USC 6
SHELBY, N.C. — Gardner-Webb scored the tying and winning runs on errors to upset No. 15 South Carolina, 7-6, in baseball Tuesday.
USC (31-11) led 6-4 in the eighth, but Gardner-Webb (21-19-1) rallied with two runs, then scored the game-winning in the ninth.
Gardner-Webb’s rally in the eighth began with a walk to Danny Yelverton. After a wild pitch by Vince Fiori moved him up to second base, the Gamecocks went to the pen for right-hander Joel Seddon.
Singles by Scott Johnson and Ryan Hodge cut the South Carolina lead to 6-5. Seddon would retire the next two batters with a popup and groundout. With runners on second and third, the Gamecocks intentionally walked Benji Jackson, loading the bases for Scott Coleman. On a 2-1 pitch, Coleman hit a grounder to third that was misfielded by Chase Vergason, allowing pinch runner Alex Newman to score and tie the game. Seddon got out of the inning with a strikeout of Brad Collins.
The Bulldogs completed the rally in the ninth inning. John Harris led off with a base hit. After a sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position, Tyler Best knocked a pitch from Evan Beal over to Joey Pankake at shortstop. Pankake looked to get pinch runner Taylor Fisher at third base, but his throw went wide and past Vergason, allowing Fisher to score and giving Gardner-Webb the victory.
Gardner-Webb reliever Mitch Warner (3-0) earned the win. He allowed just one run on four hits in 41/3 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Seddon (1-1) suffered the loss. He allowed two runs, both unearned, on three hits in 11/3 innings with a walk and a strikeout.
Gardner-Webb had 15 hits with South Carolina finishing with 13 for the game. LB Dantzler was 3 for 5 with two runs to lead the Gamecocks. Grayson Greiner, Connor Bright and TJ Costen all had two hits apiece as well.
Brad Collins and Ryan Hodge both tallied three hits to lead Gardner-Webb.
South Carolina committed four errors in the contest, leading to four unearned runs for Gardner-Webb. A pair of GW errors also led to two unearned runs for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks are back in action this weekend with a three-game series at LSU in SEC play. First pitch for the opener on Friday is set for 8 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.