Top-ranked South Carolina takes series with DH sweep of No. 14 Ole Miss
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Top ranked South Carolina outlasted 12th ranked Ole Miss 3-1 in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday evening to clinch the weekend series in the rubber game at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks swept the doubleheader after rallying for a 6-5 win in 10 innings in the first game. South Carolina is 18-1 and 2-1 in the SEC with Ole Miss 17-4 and 1-2 in league play.
Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe earned the win and is now 4-0 on the year. He allowed one run on six hits in 5.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He was helped out by the bullpen as junior right-hander Cody Mincey worked three scoreless innings with just one hit allowed. Mincey paved the way to junior right-hander Joel Seddon who retired both batters he faced in the ninth inning with a strikeout of Auston Bousfield to end the game and preserve the series victory. Seddon earned a save, his sixth of the season. Ole Miss starter Sam Smith suffered the loss and is 3-1 on the year. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in seven innings with a walk and five strikeouts. South Carolina's bullpen has a streak of 61.1 innings without allowing a run.
The Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Kyle Martin led off with a single. After Connor Bright flew out to deep left-center, Ole Miss looked to double off Martin at first but a throw from shortstop Errol Robinson was too high for first baseman Sikes Orvis as it went into the dugout. Martin was awarded third base. He would score on Grayson Greiner's sac fly to right-center.
Ole Miss tied it at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Braxton Lee led off with a base hit and Austin Anderson was hit by a pitch to give the Rebels a pair of runners. Lee would be thrown out by the Gamecocks' Elliott Caldwell in left field after a base hit by Will Allen. After Allen's single, Lee rounded third for home but tried to get back to third base and was nabbed on a nice relay from Caldwell to Pankake to Mooney for the first out of the inning. The play proved to be big as Sikes Orvis followed with a base hit to score Anderson. Crowe then dug deep and retired the next two batters to keep the game knotted up.
The Gamecocks regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Bright led off with a base hit and advanced to third on a single to the gap in right-center from Greiner. With two outs and runners still on the corners, Tanner English set down a perfect bunt down the first base line for a base hit scoring Bright and giving the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead.
Carolina added insurance in the eighth inning. Marcus Mooney drew a leadoff walk and after a sacrifice by Caldwell moved him into scoring position, he would score on Joey Pankake's RBI single to left field to put Carolina ahead by a pair of runs.
"Some days baseball puts you at a loss for words and I kind of felt that way today, especially after game one," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "The beautiful thing about this game is that there is no clock and you have to get that 27th out. I have a resilient group of players who always believe that they can win the game and they found a way to do it when the odds were stacked against them. I feel very blessed that we have some good kids in that locker room that never give up and battle and pull for each other and I am awfully lucky to be their coach and we beat a great team. I have been here for six years now and there are a few teams that really stand out that have come in here (Carolina Stadium) to play us. One is the Vanderbilt team from a couple years ago, I know a few of you remember that team, the LSU team that won the national championship in 2009 and that Ole Miss team that we just played. That is how good I think that they are and our team beat a great team today and I couldn't be more proud of them."
South Carolina's nine-hit evening included a pair of hits from Pankake, Martin and Bright. Will Allen went 3-for-4 to lead Ole Miss at the plate.