South Carolina baseball tops Missouri in series opener – The State

South Carolina’s recent success in close games continued Friday night against Missouri.

The Gamecocks earned a 4-3 road victory over the Tigers while winning three consecutive games for the first time since March in the process.

Two of USC’s three wins were by one run, while one was by three. South Carolina had struggled to win close games in the previous several weeks prior to this recent stretch.

“It was a typical Friday night in the SEC,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said. “There was some good pitching going on out there. … It was a big win for us.”

South Carolina fell behind 2-0 in the third inning before rallying in the middle innings to take the lead.

Hunter Taylor doubled home two runs in the fifth inning to tie the game at 2, and Jonah Bride hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Gamecocks the lead.

Wil Crowe earned the win for South Carolina (30-19, 12-13), allowing two runs in seven innings while striking out nine batters.

Crowe (5-4) allowed a pair of runs in the third inning but was able to hold the Tigers in check for the most part.

USC handed Missouri lefty TJ Sikkema (7-1) his first loss of the season.

Josh Reagan pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed one run before giving way to Tyler Johnson, who earned a four-out save, his ninth of the season.

Johnson had struggled recently but bounced back in impressive fashion, striking out two batters and not giving up a hit.

“Their freshman was terrific and Wil battled him pitch for pitch,” Holbrook said. “Our pitching staff was great down the stretch. It was good to see Tyler Johnson look like Tyler Johnson. It was good to see him get back into the swing of things, and Reagan got us some big outs as well.”

Bride and freshman Riley Hogan had a pair of hits for the Gamecocks with Hogan hitting a pair of doubles. Taylor and Madison Stokes also doubled for USC as Carolina outhit Missouri 7-6. Five of South Carolina’s seven hits went for extra bases.

One of the runs Crowe allowed came on a strikeout as a Missouri batter struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt and Taylor was unable to keep the ball in front of him, allowing a run to score from third.

The Tigers got a leadoff double in the fifth inning but clutch pitching kept Missouri off the board.

In addition to pitching well against Mizzou, Holbrook said Crowe has been a strong leader throughout the past week.

“Wil had kind of taken a lot of leadership over the last several days in regards to how vocal he has been in the dugout and in the locker room,” Holbrook said. “Even on Wednesday night when we were losing 6-1, he kind of called a team meeting in the dugout himself. He was the same way in the dugout (tonight). He didn’t sit between innings and when he wasn’t pitching he was up the whole game cheering for his teammates when we were on offense and it was really good to see. He seems to be a very determined kid right now and we had to have a big outing from him tonight to win… Wil was terrific. Realistically, he pitched as flawless a game as he has all year.”

Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. USC is looking for its first series win since March.

USC

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Tolbert 2b

4

0

0

0

0

0

Hopkins cf

4

0

0

0

0

1

Cortes lf

4

0

0

0

0

3

Blair lf

0

0

0

0

0

0

Olson rf

4

0

1

0

0

1

Destino dh

3

1

0

0

1

1

Bride 3b

4

2

2

2

0

0

Hogan 1b

3

1

2

0

0

1

Williams 1b

1

0

0

0

0

1

Taylor c

4

0

1

2

0

0

Stokes ss

4

0

1

0

0

1

TOTALS

35

4

7

4

1

9

Missouri

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Balsamo cf

3

0

0

0

1

1

McGuire rf

4

1

1

0

0

2

Brumfield lf

3

0

1

1

1

1

Bond c

4

0

0

0

0

1

Glendinning 2b

3

0

2

0

1

1

Misner dh

4

0

0

0

0

0

Samples 3b

4

1

1

0

0

0

Sharp 1b

4

0

0

0

0

3

Cornelius ss

4

1

1

1

0

2

TOTALS

33

3

6

2

3

11

USC

000

022

000

4

Missouri

002

000

010

3

E — Cornelius. LOB — S. Carolina 5; Missouri 6. 2B — Brumfield; Glendinning; Hogan 2; Taylor; Stokes. 3B — Cornelius. HR — Bride. CS — Balsamo.

USC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Crowe W, 5-4

7

4

2

2

2

9

Reagan

2/3

2

1

1

0

0

Johnson S, 9

1 1/3

0

0

0

1

2

Missouri

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Sikkema L, 7-1

5 2/3

4

3

3

1

5

Bartlett

3 1/3

3

1

1

0

4

WP — Crowe. Umpires — HP: Morris Hodges. 1B: Damien Beal. 2B: David Wiley 3B: Rickey Armstrong. T — 2:53 A — 1,370.

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