COLUMBIA, SC - The University of South Carolina's rally against VMI fell just short in game one of the 2018 campaign, falling 7-6 on Friday evening in front of a crowd of 7,384 at Founders Park.
VMI got the scoring started in the top of the first after a Peyton Maddox line drive to shallow left field scored Matt Pita from second base.
The Gamecocks came out strong in their half of the first inning, scoring four runs on as many hits. Jonah Bride singled and advanced to second on a throwing error from VMI's Jacob Jaye, which allowed Carlos Cortes to score from second base. The very next batter, Madison Stokes, roped a double to the left-field wall, scoring Bride from second. Jacob Olson capped off the big inning with a two-run home run to left field.
VMI answered in the top half of the second as Michael Diodato doubled off the wall in left center, scoring Collin Fleischer from second base. A Nathan Eaton sacrifice fly to left field scored Matt Dunlevy and cut the Gamecocks lead to 4-3.
The Gamecocks added another run in the bottom half of the third inning, again off of a double to leftfield from Stokes. The hard-hit grounder stayed just fair, and Cortes was able to score from second once again.
VMI yet again fought right back with a big four-run fourth inning. A three-run homer then a solo shot back-to-back from Nathan Eaton and Matt Pita in the top of the fourth inning gave the Keydets the lead back, this time for good.