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USC rallies late to steal one at Mizzou 9-4 (AUDIO) #Gamecocks – SportsTalkSC

The Gamecocks have now won back-to-back series against the Tigers (USC Baseball

For the third straight game against Missouri, USC did not get a quality effort from its starting pitcher. However, for the second time this weekend, it didn’t matter. Garrett Gainey, Connor McCreery, and Chris Veach combined to toss 7 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball to allow USC’s hitters to rally from a 4-1 deficit and score a 9-4 victory at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Missouri, on Sunday afternoon. The comeback gave the Gamecocks the weekend series two games to one and kept Carolina in a tie for third with Georgia in the SEC East Division standings. The Bulldogs travel to Founders Park for a massive three-game conference series beginning this Thursday night.

As was the case in the opening games of the series, USC had to go to its bullpen very early against the Tigers. After Roman Kimball couldn’t get out of the second on Friday and Eli Jones lasted just two and two-thirds on Saturday, head coach Mark Kingston was hoping for a much longer outing of Dylan Eskew. He didn’t get it. Eskew was pulled in the bottom of the second inning as Missouri climbed out of a 1-0 hole, scoring four times to grab the lead. However, the Tigers would record just two more hits the rest of the way, while striking out a combined eleven times against the Gamecock trio of Gainey, McCreery, and Veach. For the weekend, South Carolina’s bullpen struck out 34 Missouri batters.

Offensively, though, the Gamecocks were having a tough time getting their mojo going on Sunday against Missouri starter Ryan Magdic. Outside of Carolina’s second-inning run, which came home on a wild pitch, the grad transfer kept the Gamecocks at bay through four innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out four in his longest outing of the season. But unlike USC’s bullpen, the Tigers relievers weren’t nearly as sharp.

It took until the seventh inning, but the Gamecocks broke through, scoring three times in the frame to tie the game at 4-4. Dalton Reeves started the comeback with a solo home run before Ethan Petry knotted the contest with a two-run blast to centerfield.

After keeping the Tigers scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, USC took the lead for good with another three-spot in the eighth inning. Again, Reeves started the rally with a bunt base hit for a run, before Gavin Casas plated another with an infield single. Austin Brinling followed with a sacrificial fly to left field to make the score 7-4 Gamecocks.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the game was stopped by weather. That scenario could have been significant as Carolina’s three runs in the top of the inning weren’t official. However, the game resumed, and USC maintained its three-run edge heading into the ninth.

In the top of the ninth, Cole Messina hit his 14th homer of the season to pad USC’s lead and add to what was a torrid hitting weekend for the Gamecock catcher. Messina finished the weekend 7-for-11 with four runs scored, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and seven RBIs. Talmadge LeCroy added an RBI single to round out the scoring.

USC hits the road this Tuesday to face Winthrop at 6 pm

Box Score

USC HC Mark Kingston — Postgame Comments