The University of South Carolina baseball team’s bullpen did not allow a hit in 6.1 innings and used a six-run sixth frame to come all the way back from a 7-0 deficit to win, 8-7, over No. 17 Vanderbilt in the series opener between the two teams at Hawkins Field.
The Gamecocks had double-digit hits for the fifth straight game as Justin Row had three doubles in the win. TJ Hopkins added a pair of hits and two RBI while LT Tolbert drove in a pair of runs.
On the mound, the win went to TJ Shook, who struck out five in 3.1 innings of relief. Eddy Demuriaspitched two innings of hitless relief and Sawyer Bridges earned his third save, striking out a batter in the ninth.
Vanderbilt jumped on Carolina starter Logan Chapman early with three runs in the first after home runs from Pat DeMarco and Ty Duvall. Then in the second, Julian Infante doubled and moved up 180 feet on a pair of wild pitches, giving the Commodores a 4-0 lead.
The Commodores built a 7-0 lead in the third which was highlighted by an RBI triple from Harrison Ray. South Carolina got to Vandy starter Drake Fellows in the fifth. Matt Williams and Jacob Olson singled to open the inning. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and Williams scored on an RBI single by TJ Hopkins. Carlos Cortes then singled to right to bring in Olson.
Carolina took the lead for good in a crazy sixth inning. Jonah Bride was hit by a pitch and moved to third on Row’s double. Williams loaded the bases, reaching on a catcher’s interference. Bride trotted home on a bases-loaded walk to Olson. Hunter Taylor’s sacrifice fly to right made it 7-4. Hopkins followed with a single up the middle, scoring Williams. Fellows was relieved by Tyler Brown, who hit Cortes to reload the bases. After a strikeout, Tolbert tied it with a two-run single up the middle. The Gamecocks took the lead on a delayed double steal that scored Cortes as Tolbert got back to first base in time.
The Gamecocks scored six runs in the sixth, the final on a delayed double steal that scored Carlos Cortes.
Carolina’s bullpen did not allow a hit in 6.1 innings, striking out six. TJ Shook earned the win while Sawyer Bridges picked up the save.
Row had three doubles in a game, which is tied for the school record with many Gamecocks, including Jonah Bride, who did it last week vs. LSU.
South Carolina has won five games in a row and has double digit hits in all five of the wins. Carolina is hitting .349 and slugging .516 in the wins.
Carolina did not make an error for the 18th time this season.
TJ Shook moved his ERA to 1.99 after the win. He did not allow a hit in 3.1 innings pitched.
Row is now hitting .382 in conference play after the three doubles in tonight’s game.
The Gamecocks and Commodores will play the second game of the series Saturday afternoon (April 28) at 2 p.m. Central time (3 p.m. Eastern time).