2 Walk Offs Help the Gamecocks Sweep Their SEC Home Opener to Stay Undefeated in Conference

Founders Park — Columbia, SC

Game One

March 24th, 2023

The South Carolina Gamecocks host their first SEC series of the season as they welcome the Missouri Tigers came to town. The Tigers come in ranked #22 after an impressive sweep of the then ranked #2 Tennessee to open up conference play. The Gamecocks, entered the weekend ranked #11 and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead thanks to a gram slam from Will McGillis in the 2nd inning. However, Mizzou responded with a 2 run half inning immediately following. After a run in the bottom half of the 3rd for the Gamecocks, the Tigers scored 6 unanswered runs lead by Luke Mann who had an impressive 3 home run day from the leadoff spot, going 4-5 with 6 runs batted in, 4 runs scored of his own, and a walk.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Gamecocks trailed 8-5. Gavin Casas opened the final frame with a walk, followed by Ethan Petry reaching on a strikeout with a wild pitch 2 batters later. After the 2nd out of the inning, Mizzou would be one out away from closing it out. Talmadge LeCroy wore a pitch to load up the bases for Caleb Denny. Denny came through with a clutch 2RBI single to right field, making it 8-7. Pinch hitter, Johnathan French, followed suite with a single through the right side to tie the game at 8, all with 2 outs still. Michael Braswell stepped up to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. He scratched across an infield single, followed by a Missouri throwing error in which allowed Denny to come around from 2nd and score the game winning run for the Gamecocks!

Austin Williamson earned the win in relief, allowing a hit but striking out the frame in the top of the 9th. Will Sanders started the game and went 3.1IP, 5ER, 3H, 5K, 6BB. James Hicks came out of the pen first and threw 2.2IP, ER, 4H, 5K, BB. He was followed by Matthew Beck from the bullpen as he went 1.0IP 2ER, 2H, 0K, BB.

TOP PERFORMERS

  • Will McGillis: 2-2 4RBI, R
  • Ethan Petry: 2-5, HR, RBI, 2R
  • Caleb Denny: 1-3, 2RBI, 2R, BB

STATS & NOTES

  • Carolina gets their first walk-off win since April 28, 2022. (Alabama 6-5)
  • Gamecocks get their 2nd sellout of the season to go with the game vs Clemson on March 5.

Game Two

March 25th, 2023

The Gamecocks and the Tigers played a double-header on Saturday to wrap up the series and South Carolina made the most of it. In the first game of the day, game 2 of the series, Noah Hall set the stage for the Gamecocks on the mound. Hall looked very impressive once again as he went 7IP, 1ER, 5H, 10K, BB. He has been very consistent so far this season as had provided the team with a lot of firepower in every start. Chris Veach came on in relief for Hall in the 8th and allowed only a hit in the middle of striking out the side. Cade Austin pitched a scoreless 9th to close it out only allowing a hit and picking up 2 strikeouts.

The Gamecock bats got hot early too with 2 runs in the 1st, thanks to an Ethan Petry 2-run blast. They would scatter scoring 6 runs across frames 4-8 thanks to 2 doubles and a home run from Gavin Casas and 2 home runs from Evan Stone. South Carolina went on to win the game and the series, 8-1.

TOP PERFORMERS

  • Evan Stone: 2-4, 3RBI, 2R
  • Gavin Casas: 4-5, 2RBI, 3R
  • Ethan Petry: 2-4, 2RBI, R

Game Three

March 26th, 2023

Game 3 of the series was closer than the previous. Carson Hornung provided the Gamecocks with a 2-0 lead in the 4th via 2-run home run. Missouri however, wouldn’t go quietly, scoring 2 runs in the 5th and 6th each. Jack Mahoney started on the bump for the Gamecocks and went 4.1IP, 2ER, 3H, 3K, 3BB. The bullpen went to work from there from a collection of guys, Eli Jones, Chris Veach, Cade Austin, Austin Williamson, Eli Jerzembeck, and Matthew Becker. Becker earned the win in relief, tallying 5 strikeouts in 3 relief innings.

It would stay 4-2 Mizzou until Ethan Petry would tie the game with another 2-run home run to left field. After 9 innings of play, the game went into extra innings still tied at 4. In the 12th, Will Tippett lead things off with a walk. Tippett advanced to 3rd on a bunt single by Braylen Wimmer and a throwing error. After an intentional walk to Gavin Casas, Ethan Petry step to the plate. Petry delivered the game winning hit, a single up the middle, to score Tippett clinch the sweep of the Missouri Tigers for the Gamecocks!

TOP PERFORMERS

  • Ethan Petry: 3-5, 3RBI, R, BB
  • Carson Hornung: 2-3, RBI, R, 2BB

STATS & NOTES

  • Carolina starts SEC play 6-0 for the first time since 2016.
  • The Gamecocks tie the program record for best start in first 25 games. (Started 23-2 in 2000)

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