South Carolina sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop and Alabama junior left-hander Justin Kamplain competed in a pitcher’s duel with the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide breaking a 1-1 tie with a run in the seventh on the way to a 2-1 win over the eighth-ranked Gamecocks. The Gamecocks are now 33-11 and 11-9 in the SEC with the Crimson Tide improving to 29-14 and 13-7 in league action. The rubber game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
Wynkoop suffers the loss for South Carolina and falls to 5-3 on the year. Wynkoop worked 6.1 innings allowing two runs, both earned, on seven hits while striking out four batters. Kamplain improves to 4-2 on the year with freshman left-hander Thomas Burrows adding 2.2 scoreless innings of relief for his ninth save of the season.
Alabama struck first with a two-out home run off the bat of Ben Moore in the first inning, his sixth homer of the season.
South Carolina evened the game at 1-1 in the third inning after a leadoff double from DC Arendas and a pair of sacrifice hits pushed a run across including a sac fly from Marcus Mooney.
The Crimson Tide scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. Wade Wass opened the frame with a double to left-center and was sacrificed over to third by Kyle Overstreet. Casey Hughston drove in Wass with an RBI single through the right side.
The Crimson Tide out hit the Gamecocks seven to five. Taylor Widener finished the game 2-for-4 and also pitched 2.2 hitless innings of relief. Ben Moore and Chance Vincent both had two hits to lead Alabama at the plate.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “I thought that Jack [Wynkoop] and Taylor [Widener] deserved a better fate. They pitched their hearts out for us. We played our hearts out but we just didn’t do enough offensively. We have to score more than one run against a team like Alabama that’s so offensive, big and physical. Their [Alabama’s] pitchers did a really good job. [Justin] Kamplain and [Thomas] Burrows are really good, as their numbers indicate. We tried hard and we hit some balls on the nose that happened to be caught. We had a couple of opportunities to score there and we just didn’t quite cash in. It’s a tough loss but by no fault of our players. They played as hard as they could and tried as hard as they could and we just came up short.”