Kyle Martin, South Carolina upend No. 4 Texas A&M 8-7 in series rubber match
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Kyle Martin homered and drove in four runs and South Carolina belted out 12 hits on the way to an 8-7 win against fourth-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game SEC series at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The Gamecocks improve to 30-22 and 12-15 in the SEC with the Aggies now 42-9 and 17-9 in the SEC.
Gamecock left-hander Josh Reagan earned the win in relief and is now 2-2 on the year. He allowed four runs on three hits in 3.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Brandon Murray picked up his second save of the year allowing one run on three hits in 2.2 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Texas A&M starter Kyle Simonds suffered the loss and is 3-2 for the year. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in an inning of work.
Martin gave the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a three-run homer, his third homer of the series and 14th of the year. Gene Cone opened the game with a single to center and Max Schrockreached base on a fielding error by A&M shortstop Blake Allemand. On a 1-1 pitch, Martin launched a homer over the wall in right field.
Texas A&M would get a run back in the bottom of the third. Blake Allemand knocked a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season. The Aggies added a run in the fourth to cut Carolina's lead to 3-2. Walks to Nick Banks and Hunter Melton led to an eventual RBI groundout off the bat of Logan Nottebrok.
A four-run fifth inning for Carolina extended the lead to five runs. Max Schrock opened the frame with a double to right field and scored on Martin's RBI single. After a wild pitch moved Martin to second, he would score on Elliott Caldwell's RBI base hit. A wild pitch would bring Caldwell home and Mooney drove in Hunter Taylor with a two-out RBI double.
South Carolina made it 8-2 with a run in the sixth inning. Cone walked to open the bottom of the sixth and eventually scored on a sac fly from Caldwell.
Texas A&M used back-to-back two-out homers to cut Carolina's lead to a pair of runs in the sixth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Logan Nottebrok knocked a 2-1 pitch just over the wall in left-center for his sixth homer of the year. Jonathan Moroney followed with his first homer of the year over the wall in right field to make it 8-6 Gamecocks.
The Aggies crept to within a run in the eighth inning. Banks tripled to open the inning and scored on a RBI groundout by Nick Choruby.
With Carolina leading 8-7, Texas A&M looked to rally one more time, but Murray closed out the game and the series. Ryne Birk led off with a single. After Mitchell Nau sacrificed him over, the Gamecocks would get the second out on a nice play by shortstop Marcus Mooney on a tough slow roller and the third out on a foulout down the left field line off the bat of Banks and into the hands of Clark Scolamiero.