This time, South Carolina came up with the late-inning magic.
Grayson Greiner’s two-out, two-run homer in the 10th inning lifted the No. 14-ranked Gamecocks to a 5-3 win at Dudy Noble Field on Friday night. That evened the series, with Game 3 set for 3 p.m. today.
Greiner, who had three hits on the night, smashed the first pitch he saw from reliever Daryl Norris over the left field wall. It was the sophomore catcher’s fourth homer of the year, and he said he was sitting on the slider because he saw Norris throwing it during his warmup.
“If I got it, I was going to take a good hack at it, and if I didn’t, I was just going to take it. I got one, and I got the barrel to it,” Greiner said.
With the win, the Gamecocks (39-15, 17-11 SEC) secured the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye for the SEC tournament. They’ll open play in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday.
After MSU (39-16, 15-14) scored twice in the seventh for a 3-2 lead, it looked like the Gamecocks had blown another one. The Bulldogs rallied from three down the night before in a 5-4 win.
But South Carolina tied it in the eighth. Max Schrock, who reached on a single and advanced to third base on Chase Vergason’s single, scored on a wild pitch by closer Jonathan Holder.
MSU loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs, but Wes Rea fouled out to end the threat.
“To say this was a great win does not do it justice,” South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said.
Starter Jordan Montgomery got a no-decision, but he tossed seven innings, allowing three runs. South Carolina is 5-0 this year when he goes at least six innings.
The Gamecocks got to MSU starter Kendall Graveman in the fifth, manufacturing two runs. He’d retired nine in a row before Greiner singled to lead off the inning, and then Graveman walked Graham Saiko.
Two batters later, Greiner scored on Connor Bright’s groundout, and Saiko came across on a wild pitch with two outs.
MSU threatened in the sixth, loading the bases with one out. But it managed only a run, when Adam Frazier scored on a wild pitch on C.T. Bradford’s swinging strikeout.
“In a ballgame like this, you’re going to say a lot of what-ifs, whoever wins and whoever loses,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “South Carolina probably said a lot of what-ifs about (Thursday) night.”
Bradford (0-1) pitched two-thirds of an inning of relief and took the loss. Adam Westmoreland (7-1) tossed two shutout innings for the win, while Tyler Webb worked the 10th inning for his 16th save.
Alex Detz had four hits for MSU.
|Schrock 2b||5||1||1||0||Frazier ss||5||2||2||0|
|Vrgson 3b||5||0||1||0||Detz 3b||4||0||4||0|
|Pankake ss||5||0||1||0||Frost 3b||0||0||0||0|
|Dntzler dh||3||1||1||0||Renfroe rf||4||0||0||0|
|Greiner c||4||2||3||2||Pirtie 2b||3||0||2||2|
|Saiko lf||3||1||1||0||Rea 1b||5||0||0||0|
|Martin 1b||5||0||1||0||Brdfrd cf/p||5||0||0||0|
|Bright rf||3||0||0||1||Hndrson lf||5||0||0||0|
|SSllvn rf||1||0||0||0||Ammrti c||5||0||1||0|
|English cf||4||0||0||0||Armstrg dh||3||1||1||0|
|Totals 38||5||9||3||Totals 40||3||10||2|
Bradford faced 1 batter in the 8th.