Georgia plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh and added a run in the eighth, overcoming a 5-2 deficit to defeat the University of South Carolina baseball team, 7-5, Friday night (March 23) in the SEC series opener.
Georgia opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, pushing across a pair of runs on a Michael Curry RBI single and a Cam Shepherd sacrifice fly.
The Gamecocks then exploded for five runs in the third on six straight hits. The big hit was LT Tolbert’s two-run triple to center. Noah Campbell, Madison Stokes and Jonah Bride also had run scoring hits as Carolina went up by three runs. Danny Blair led off the fourth with a double and Campbell walked, forcing the Bulldogs to go to the bullpen, but Georgia got out of the jam and Carolina got just one hit the remainder of the game.
Georgia scored a run in the fourth, then took the lead in the seventh. Graham Lawson, who was tagged with the loss, hit Mason Meadows and gave up a single to C.J. Smith and an RBI double to Tucker Bradley. Eddy Demurias came in and Aaron Schunk grounded out to short, scoring the tying run. Georgia took the lead as Curry reached on a dropped fly ball, scoring Bradley.
The Bulldogs added insurance in the eighth as a Bradley bunt scored LJ Talley.
Campbell had two hits to lead Carolina, while Tolbert drove in two. John Gilreath started for the Gamecocks. He went four innings and allowed six hits and three runs with two strikeouts and a walk. Lawson allowed two earned runs in two innings.
South Carolina led 5-3 and was looking for more after a double and walk, but Tony Locey came out of the pen for Georgia and got a foul out, strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
Tolbert now leads Carolina with 22 RBI after his two-run triple in the third.
Gilreath earned the start for the Gamecocks after Adam Hill skipped his start this week (shoulder). Gilreath struck out a pair in four innings of work.
Campbell now has nine multi-hit games after going 2-for-4 with an RBI in Friday’s contest.
It was just the fourth game this season that the Gamecocks have not hit a home run.
South Carolina and Georgia continue the three-game series Saturday afternoon (March 24) at 2 p.m. at Foley Field.