USC Gamecocks Baseball

Another SEC series slips away from Gamecocks

Chad Holbrook recaps another close USC loss

South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook: 'It's very disappointing. My heart's been ripped out of me.'
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South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook: 'It's very disappointing. My heart's been ripped out of me.'

Another strong outing by a South Carolina starting pitcher. Another loss for the Gamecocks.

Mississippi State rallied from a 2-1 deficit to score four runs in the final three innings en route to a 5-4 win over USC Saturday night at Founders Park.

The loss clinches the series for the 13th-ranked Bulldogs and marks the third consecutive series loss for the Gamecocks. No. 17 USC is 3-7 in its past 10 games.

USC starter Wil Crowe allowed four earned runs in eight innings, but pitched better than his final line as he entered the ninth inning having allowed one earned run. It didn’t matter as USC fell to 0-6 in its past six games decided by three runs or less.

“Wil was terrific. He battled and competed and gave us a chance to win,” Gamecocks coach Chad Holbrook said. “It’s very disappointing. My heart’s been ripped out of me. But we’re not halfway through the SEC season yet so we’ve got to keep fighting.”

The loss drops USC to 21-13 overall and 7-7 in the SEC. Mississippi State improves to 10-4 in the league and has won 10 of its past 11 SEC games.

The Bulldogs tied the game in the seventh on an unearned run, a night after scoring five unearned runs in Game 1 of the series.

Mississippi State scored three runs in the ninth inning, with only two balls making it out of the infield, to take a three-run lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Crowe surrendered three consecutive singles, two on the infield and one up the middle, and was replaced by Colie Bowers with the bases loaded and no outs.

Ryan Gridley led off the ninth with a chopper to third that went off the top of Jonah Bride’s glove and was bobbled. USC had Gridley caught in a rundown during the next at-bat, but allowed him to retreat to first safely.

The Bulldogs scored on a groundout, wild pitch and single to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

“I’m glad they put me in a position where they trust me like that. I thought I made some good pitches. The ball didn’t fall our way and things didn’t happen the way we wanted them to,” Crowe said. “It’s baseball. It happens. I’ve got to keep pitching. I’ve got to go next pitch, next throw, make the next play.”

Carlos Cortes cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, hitting a two-run homer with one out to put the deficit at one. But Matt Williams grounded out and Alex Destino flied out to end the game.

Cortes also hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give USC a 2-1 lead, which held until the seventh.

The freshman drove in all four of South Carolina’s runs and had three of the Gamecocks’ eight hits.

“Carlos obviously had a great day, but we need more than just Carlos,” Holbrook said.

USC switched its lineup, as Chris Cullen played first base, LT Tolbert moved from second to shortstop, Hunter Taylor was inserted at catcher and Justin Row got the start at second.

Williams and Madison Stokes started on the bench as both have been in a slump. Taylor and Row were unable to provide a spark, combining to go 0-for-8 at the plate.

“I was looking for somebody to kick start us, somebody to spark us,” Holbrook said. “Hunter and Justin have the ability to do that, but they didn’t have great days at the plate. And they haven’t been in there much. Maybe I was expecting too much.”

The Gamecocks will try to avoid getting swept in Game 3 on Sunday at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Mississppi St.

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Mangum cf

4

0

0

0

0

1

Rooker 1b

3

0

1

0

1

0

Gridley ss

4

1

1

0

0

0

Brown lf

3

2

2

0

1

0

MacNamee dh

1

0

0

0

1

1

Vansau ph-dh

2

1

2

1

0

0

Lovelady c

4

0

0

1

0

0

Poole rf

2

0

0

0

1

1

Alexander 3b

4

1

1

1

0

1

Stovall 2b

4

0

1

1

0

1

TOTALS

31

5

8

4

4

5

South Carolina

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Olson rf

4

2

2

0

1

0

Cortes dh

5

2

3

4

0

1

Cullen 1b

2

0

0

0

2

0

Williams 1b

1

0

0

0

0

0

Destino lf

5

0

0

0

0

1

Bride 3b

3

0

0

0

1

0

Tolbert ss

4

0

1

0

0

1

Hopkins cf

4

0

2

0

0

0

Blair cf

0

0

0

0

0

0

Taylor c

4

0

0

0

0

1

Row 2b

4

0

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

36

4

8

4

4

4

Miss. St.

001

000

103

5

USC

002

000

002

4

E — Stovall(2); Cullen(3). DP — S. Carolina 2. LOB — MS 4; S. Carolina 9. 2B — Cody Brown(6); H Vansau(1). HR — L Alexander(4); Cortes 2(3). HBP — Tanner Poole. SB — Olson(3). CS — Cody Brown(1); Tanner Poole.

Miss. State

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Gordon

4

5

2

2

0

2

Barton

2 1/3

1

0

0

2

0

Barlow

 2/3

0

0

0

1

2

Jolly, W 2-1

1

1

0

0

0

0

Price, S 13

1

1

2

2

1

0

USC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Crowe, L 3-3

8

7

5

4

3

4

Bowers

1

1

0

0

1

1

WP — Bowers(4). HBP — by Crowe (Tanner Poole). Umpires — HP: Perry Costello 1B: Jacob Asher 2B: Matthew Wilbanks 3B: Mark Chapman. T — 3:24. A — 7,708.

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