South Carolina rode a dominating pitching performance by Sam Dyson to one win.
Then the Gamecocks received late-inning heroics from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ethan Carter to secure the second game as the Gamecocks swept Georgia in a doubleheader on Sunday at Foley Field.
Dyson allowed three base runners as South Carolina won 5-0 in the first game. Bradley delivered an RBI single to bring home Whit Merrifield with the game-winner in the seventh inning of an 8-7 victory against the Bulldogs in Game 2.
Bradley batted 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in Game 2. He had a single in the first game to give him five hits for the day.
“I just told (Bradley) to be aggressive,” South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. “I told him that I wasn’t going to take the bat out of his hands and to go out and be aggressive. He hasn’t had that many four-hit games this year.”
South Carolina had a five-run lead but Georgia tied the score 7-7 in the fifth inning on a three-run home run by Brett DeLoach. Merrifield led off the top of the seventh with a walk from Georgia reliever Cooper Moseley (0-2). Merrifield stole second and Bradley lined a single to score Merrifield for an 8-7 lead.
“I’ve just been trying to hit the backside of the ball,” Bradley said. “It was good to get back to that.”
Carter (2-0) shut out Georgia in the final two innings, allowing two hits and one walk with three strikeouts and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh to pick up the win.
“Georgia had strapped it on, they were coming at us,” Tanner said. “Ethan had a clean sixth. He struggled a little in the seventh. We had a guy ready in the bullpen just in case. But I decided that this was a great opportunity for him. He had done a good job for us all year and he hung on. By a thread, but he hung on.”
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Carter struck out DeLoach and pinch hitter Zach Taylor flied out to end the game.
Adrian Morales had a home run and three RBIs in Game 2. He had a home run and two RBIs in Game 1.
South Carolina (32-8, 14-4) remained in first place of the SEC East with the three-game series sweep. Georgia (12-28, 3-15) remained in last place of the division.
In the first game, Dyson out-dueled Jeff Walters (1-4) in the seven-inning shutout. Dyson silenced Georgia’s offense on three base runners, all singles.
Dyson (4-2) threw seven innings, giving up three hits and no runs with five strikeouts and no walks. Nick Ebert and Adrian Morales each had solo home runs. Bobby Haney had a 2-RBI single that blew the game open in the sixth inning.
“Sam had one of his best days as a Gamecock,” Tanner said. “His velocity was good. He got some balls on the inside half. His balls had a little bit of sink, I think he had 13 or 14 groundball outs. His slider was good too. He had a great day. He was able to get his pitches over and he had some life on his fastball.”