After A Disappointing Series Loss To Mizzou, The Yardcocks Are Left Searching For Answers

Carolina continued its road struggles this week as they dropped the series 2-1 to Missouri. South Carolina is now 7-1 on the road, with still no away series wins.

On paper, this series appeared winnable, and it stayed that way up until the 8th inning on Saturday. In the bottom of the 8th, Missouri scored five runs against the Gamecocks to take a two-run lead going into the 9th. They would later walk off against Michael Braswell to take game two.

In game three, South Carolina’s bats went quiet early while Missouri’s turned red hot. The Tigers out hit the Gamecocks 13-4 and took the series with a 10-3 win on Sunday. 

Hands down, Missouri was a must win series for the Gamecocks. Prior to this weekend, South Carolina had one SEC series win and one loss, while Missouri had two series losses.

If South Carolina was to find a way out of the hole they have dug themselves in so far this season, it was to start with a series win against a Missouri. Because the Yardcocks were unable to do so, they’ll virtually have to dominate in SEC play to have a chance at salvaging the season.

Unfortunately, with South Carolina’s current level of play, this idea doesn’t seem probable. 

All season, fans have fallen back on pitching injuries as an excuse for many of our losses, and for the number of runs scored late in ballgames. However, when your bullpen is heavily responsible for three losses in a week, it becomes apparent that injuries are not the only issue with pitching this season.

Had Matthew Becker pitched lights out Sunday, it still wouldn’t have been enough to win the ballgame. That is a big problem.

This week alone, Carolina’s relievers allowed 19 runs. We can’t rely solely on our starters to win games for us. Plain and simple.

Our starters aren’t going to play remarkably every single game, and our hitting isn’t consistent enough to keep us in games where our starters are struggling. Our bullpen has been called on a number of times to step up and they’ve only been able to get the job done a couple of times. 

Performances like the one on Saturday are downright pitiful. Carolina allowed so many runs in the bottom of the 8th that even after scoring two runs in the top of the 9th they were still unable to come out with the win.

Although Braswell has been successful a number of times, you can’t expect your shortstop to win every game he pitches in. Just that thought is absurd. 

Overall, I would say Chris summed up the team as of now best, “[w]e’re gonna win some ballgames. We’re gonna take some series here and there. We’ve got a lot of baseball left to go but this just isn’t a very good team.” 

As I’ve mentioned previously, South Carolina shows true potential when they play as a complete team. The issue is, we haven’t seen enough of that this season. So far, we’ve seen more bad ball than good.

I would love to see a drastic change in play from here, but quite frankly, I don’t have my hopes up.

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