COLUMBIA — Consecutive sacrifice flies by Graham Saiko and Chase Vergason in the eighth inning helped lift No. 14 South Carolina to a 4-3 win over Presbyterian on Tuesday night.
The Gamecocks (38-14) go on the road for a three-game SEC series with Mississippi State in the final weekend of the regular season. First pitch for the opener on Thursday is 7:30 p.m.
Patrick Sullivan (2-0) went 12/3 innings of relief for the win. Tyler Webb earned his 15th save of the season and made his 102nd appearances of his career, which ties a school record set by Matt Price.
Tim Corbin (2-4) suffered the loss for Presbyterian (24-29).
In the first, Saiko singled and scored when Vergason doubled. A walk to Joey Pankake and a single by Max Schrock loaded the bases for Grayson Greiner, who grounded into a double play that allowed Vergason to score and gave the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Presbyterian scored a run in the top of the second. Three consecutive one-out singles loaded the bases for Jacob Midkiff, who drove in Brandon Paul with an infield single. The Blue Hose still had the bases loaded, but Forrest Koumas was able to end the threat by turning a double play when Ryan Hagan’s squeeze bunt attempt popped up.
Presbyterian tied the game at 2 after scratching across a run in the top of the seventh. Cam McRae reached on an error to lead off the inning. After Midkiff sacrificed McRae to second, he further advanced to third on a single by Ryan Hagan and would score the tying run on Jay Lizanich’s RBI groundout.
The Gamecocks responded with two runs and reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Sean Sullivan drew a leadoff walk, Tanner English followed with a bunt for a base hit and Dante Rosenberg reached base on a fielder’s choice with a sacrifice bunt when the Blue Hose attempted to get Sullivan out at third. With the bases loaded, a pair of sacrifice flies off the bats of Saiko and Vergason drove in Sullivan and English, respectively, and gave USC a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Nathan Chong led of the inning with a double and scored on Hagan’s two-out RBI single to center for Presbyterian.
Koumas pitched three innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out one batter. Evan Beal pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing no hits and walking one batter while Joel Seddon contributed 11/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout.
The Gamecocks belted out nine hits, including two from both Rosenberg and Schrock. Vergason had the team’s only extra base hit of the night, a pair of RBIs and a scored a run. Saiko contributed a hit, drove in a run and scored a run as well.