Former South Carolina baseball player Steve Pearce has had a long, winding professional career, including stops on seven MLB teams and stints on seven or more minor league teams.
But the 35-year-old Gamecock is unquestionably enjoying the best stretch of his career in 2018. Halfway through the season he was traded, along with cash, from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Boston Red Sox for a minor leaguer. Then, he took over the starting first base job when regular Mitch Moreland went down with injury.
And with the Red Sox in the World Series, Pearce broke through in a major way on Saturday night. Entering Game 4 hitting 0-for-4 in the series with three walks, Pearce launched a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that tied the game at 4 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Then, in the top of the ninth, he stepped to the plate with bases loaded, two outs and his team up by one. He responded with a double to deep right-center field, clearing the bases and making it 8-4. That hit ended up being the game-winner, as the Dodgers added two runs in the bottom half of the inning before losing, 9-4. With the Red Sox win, Pearce is now just one win away from a World Series win, along with another former Gamecock in Jackie Bradley Jr.
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At this point, the World Series MVP race seems fairly wide open, with a number of Red Sox coming up big in each game. But Pearce’s performance in Game 4 certainly puts him in the running. He finished the day hitting 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs and a walk.