COLUMBIA - The University of South Carolina baseball team picked up two wins on the day against Valparaiso, the latter coming in dramatic fashion. The Gamecocks won 9-2 in the opener, playing 4.5 innings after rain suspended Friday's game. Then down 2-1 going to the bottom of the ninth of game two, Luke Berryhill and Jacob Olson hit back-to-back home runs to propel Carolina to a walk-off, 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon (March 9) at Founders Park.
Carolina led 4-1 after four innings on Friday before rain halted the game. The Gamecocks scored a run in the fifth as Chris Cullen hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast to left. Valpo put up a run in the seventh, but Carolina answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Cullen scored Olson with a single to right. Then with the bases loaded, Noah Campbell drove in Brady Allen after a fielder's choice.
The Gamecocks wrapped up the scoring with a pair of runs in the eighth on Olson's RBI double and a ground out from Allen that plated Olson.
John Gilreath earned the win in relief, pitching the first 2.2 innings of Saturday. He struck out three and allowed three hits and a run. Cam Tringali picked up his first save, striking out two in 2.1 innings of work. Wesley Sweatt pitched all four innings on Friday, striking out three and allowing three hits and a run.
In the win, Andrew Eyster, TJ Hopkins, Olson, Allen and Cullen all had two hits apiece.
The nightcap had more dramatics, especially late. In a quick moving affair, the game was a pitcher's duel between junior Reid Morgan and Valpo's Jon Tieman. Carolina struck first with a run in the fourth on Eyster's double to left that scored Hopkins.
Morgan had seven strikeouts through five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing four hits and a pair of runs. A double play got Carolina out of further damage.
Carolina had only six hits and an unearned run off of Tieman. He struck out five and did not walk a batter, but was relieved by Montana Quigley to start the ninth. Berryhill took his first pitch into the Carolina bullpen, tying the game at two. Olson then deposited Quigley's 0-1 pitch over the wall in left for the third walk-off win of the season.
Morgan ended the game with 10 strikeouts, allowing seven hits and two runs with his first walk of the year. Daniel Lloyd earned the win in relief, getting the final out of the ninth inning. Olson and Eyster had two hits and an RBI apiece in the nightcap.
Carolina scored two runs on three pitches in the ninth as home runs from Luke Berryhill and Jacob Olson gave the Gamecocks the 3-2 win.
Morgan has only one walk in 29.1 innings of work this season.
• Carolina upped its home run total to 28 on the season, after home runs from Cullen, Berryhill and Olson today.
• Carolina now has a 4-0 all-time series advantage on Valpo after today's two wins.
• Berryhill leads the Gamecocks with 20 RBI on the season and is tied with Olson and Hopkins for the team lead in home runs with five.
• Morgan's 8.2 innings pitched is the most by a Gamecock since Tyler Johnson went nine innings against UNC Wilmington in the 2016 Columbia Regional.