COLUMBIA - South Carolina junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery worked into the ninth inning and seven of nine Gamecock starters tallied at least one hit as the Gamecocks defeated Missouri, 8-2, Friday night in the series opener at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina improved to 37-13 and 14-11 in the SEC, while Missouri dropped to 20-28 and 6-19 in league play.
Montgomery improved to 7-4 on the year with the win. He allowed two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings of work with a walk and eight strikeouts. Missouri starter Brett Graves suffered the loss and is now 3-5 on the year. He allowed eight runs, six earned, on 11 hits in 4.2 innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
South Carolina's 12-hit evening included three-hit games from Max Schrock and Joey Pankake. Grayson Greiner added two hits. Josh Lester was 2-for-3 with two runs to lead Missouri.
Schrock put the Gamecocks ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single. Gene Cone led off the frame with a walk and Marcus Mooney was hit by a pitch with one out to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Schrock drove the first pitch from Graves into right field for a base hit to score Cone.
Missouri answered with a run in the top of the third to tie the game. Josh Lester led off with a base hit, stole second base and scored on Dylan Kelly's one-out RBI single up the middle.
Carolina came back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Greiner led off with a single and Pankake followed with a base hit to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Tanner English then set down a perfect bunt for a base hit. On the play, Graves attempted to throw out English but his throw sailed into right field, allowing Greiner to score. DC Arendas tallied an RBI base hit to score Pankake, and a double steal eventually scored English.
That lead extended to 8-1 in the fifth inning with the Gamecocks scoring four more runs with Greiner driving a run in with a double and Cone with the big hit of the inning, a three-run double to clear the bases. Missouri scored its final run in the ninth inning.
The series continues on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.