Gamecocks Use Five-Run Fifth To Upend Asheville, 9-5
Tyler Webb (3-1) picked up victory in relief for South Carolina, which improves to 42-11 on the year. Asheville saw its losing skid extended to 13 games as the Bulldogs fall to 15-34 overall.
Catlin Carter was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Bulldogs with teammate Danny Baatz going 2-for-3. Grant Gajdosz was officially 1-for-3 with two runs scored, having reached base twice after being hit by pitches.
Offensively the Gamecocks were led by rightfielder Jake Williams who tied a career-high with four runs batted in. Williams was 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBI and three runs scored. Adrian Morales and Robert Beary each posted two RBI for the Garnett & Black, helping lead them to their 42nd win of the season.
Senior lefty David Ricker (1-2) got the start for the Bulldogs and was effective until the fifth inning. He was credited with the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits in four and two-thirds innings.
In the top of the first Mike Vaughn drove in the game’s first run when he singled to left to drive home Jordan Lurie from second. The Gamecocks would tie the game in the bottom of the frame, scoring on a Jake Williams single to plate Peter Mooney from third. After one complete inning the score was tied at one run apiece.
Ian Graham gave the Blue & White a 2-1 lead in the fourth, drawing a bases loaded walk with two outs. USC’s Robert Beary tied the game the very next half inning hitting a sacrifice fly to left to score Williams from third.
South Carolina loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth, forcing Ricker out of the game. Christian Walker drew a bases loaded walk of his own to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the game at 3-2.
While still in the fifth and with the bases still loaded Williams doubled down the leftfield line to score two more and push the Carolina lead to three runs. A double by Adrian Morales cleared the bases and gave USC a 7-2 advantage.
Asheville cut the lead to four runs in the top of the seventh, scoring a runner from second on a passed ball on a strikeout and then a throwing error on the catcher. With two on and two out a wild pitch plated another run for the Bulldogs and the Carolina advantage was cut to 7-4.
Patrick Koontz doubled to left-center to drive in another run to cut the Gamecocks’ lead to two runs and force USC to bring in its fourth pitcher of the game. Jose Mata came in and ended the Bulldogs’ seventh, but not before Asheville scored three to pull within a pair of runs at 7-5.
Williams pushed Carolina’s lead back to the three runs singling in an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, giving him his fourth RBI of the night. Beary added another run to the Gamecocks’ total on a single to left, as they pushed their lead to 9-5 after seven.
Asheville will be back in action on Thursday when the Bulldogs welcome Big South Conference foe Presbyterian College to McCormick Field for a three-game series. The Bulldogs are currently in ninth place in the league standings and are a game back of eighth placed High Point. Asheville holds the tiebreaker with the Panthers but need a good outing against the Blue Hose if they wish to make the Big South tournament.