Columbia, SC - The 15th-ranked Gamecocks of South Carolina defeated Georgia 8-3 Sunday at Carolina Stadium.
Georgia missed a scoring opportunity in the first after sophomore Nelson Ward led off the game with a double and senior Curt Powell reached on a four-pitch walk. South Carolina freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop came back to get Hunter Cole to bounce in to a double play and retired Kyle Farmer on a flyout. The Gamecocks left two men in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, following a two-out walk, a single and stolen base. Georgia sophomore left-hander Jared Walsh struck out Max Schrock to end the first.
The Bulldogs (18-31, 5-19 SEC) broke through in an eventful third. Sophomore right fielder Heath Holder led off with his first career double. Freshman Sean McLaughlin moved him to third with his first sacrifice bunt. Ward bounced one back to the pitcher who got Holder in a rundown for the first out while Ward took second. Then, he stole third base. Powell ‘s smash to third baseman Chase Vergason was knocked down as Ward had to hold, and he reached with an infield single. Cole delivered a two-run double to left for an early lead but the Gamecocks responded with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning. Designated hitter Brison Celek put USC in front 3-2 with a two-out, two-run single to cap the outburst.
The Gamecocks (37-14, 16-10 SEC) extended their lead to 6-2 with a three-run rally in the fourth that chased Walsh as the Bulldogs looked to Ross Ripple. Walsh fell to 2-4 after allowing five runs on six hits in three innings. The inning ended on a caught stealing at third of Joey Pankake. After the play, USC third base coach Sammy Esposito, along with USC strength and conditioning coach Billy Anderson and Georgia first base coach Jason Jacobs were ejected. Esposito’s ejection came around the third base box while Jacobs and Anderson came minutes later after Jacobs had reached the first base box for the top of the fifth. Bulldog student assistant Joey Side took over coaching at first base for the remainder of the game.
Wynkoop notched a win after going five innings to improve to 7-2. He allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Powell had his 10th three-hit game of the year for the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks added two runs in the eighth. Holder made it 8-3 with a two-out RBI-single in the ninth off Gamecock closer Tyler Webb. It was only the third time this year that Webb had allowed a run in 23 appearances.
“All three of the games in the series were very similar, South Carolina did some damage with two outs and did a good job against our starting pitching,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We had scoring chances that we let get away and missed some opportunities to put a big inning together. We hung in there early and then they would build on their lead, and it’s tough to come back against them.”
The Bulldogs complete their season-long eight-game road trip on Tuesday in Atlanta against Georgia Tech. It will be the third meeting this season, and the series is tied 1-1. The Yellow Jackets (31-20) posted a 7-5 win in Athens on April 19 while the Bulldogs demolished Tech 17-0 at Turner Field on April 23. First pitch will be at 7:30 p.m., and CSS/ESPN3 will televise the game and also be available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College.