The South Carolina Gamecocks travelled to Starkville, Mississippi to take on the 2021 National Champion Mississippi State Bulldogs, however, this was a completely different Hail State team than the one two season ago. The Gamecocks moved to an impressive 7-0 mark in the SEC for the first time in program history with a 6-4 win in Game 1 at Dudy Noble Field (The Dude)on Thursday, March 30th.
Things were all tied up at 3 thanks to an RBI double from Dylan Brewer in the 4th to tie it at 1 and a solo homer run from Ethan Petry (13th) in the 5th to make it 2-1. An RBI double from Michael Braswell drove in another run but the Bulldogs tied it with 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th. Cole Messina later broke things open with a 2-run home run (10th) in the 7th inning. The Gamecocks tacked on another run for some insurance thanks to a Dylan Brewer RBI base knock Eli Jones got the start in Game 1 after a shuffle in the rotation. Jones’ day went well, 4IP, 3H, ER, 2K, BB, facing 16 batters. James Hicks earned the win, despite giving up 2 runs in 2 innings on 5 hits (a HR), 2 strikeouts and no walks. Chris Veach was great in relief, striking out 2 batters in 2 innings, only surrendering 1 hit and no runs on his way to his first save of the season.
- Cole Messina: 2-3, 2R, 2RBI, BB, K
- Dylan Brewer: 3-4, 2RBI, BB, K
- Ethan Petry: 2-4, HR, 2R, RBI, BB, 2K
STATS & NOTES
- Carolina is on pace with the 1975 team for best start after 27 games (25-2).
- The Gamecocks now have 68 home runs on the year.
Game 2 of the series went much different for the Gamecocks than the first 7 games to start conference play as Carolina drops their first conference game of the season, 13-3 in a 7-inning run rule, Friday night. The 16-12, 1-7 in SEC Bulldogs gave the nod to Landon Gartman who started the game on the hill. Gartman put up a solid outing, going 5IP, 5H, 3R, 4K, 0BB. Cade Smith came out of the pen in relief for him and shut Carolina down the last 2 innings of the game, posting a strong 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2K, BB, facing one over the minimum. As for Mississippi State at the plate, they put together a loud performance and their best of the season. Slate Alford (4-4, 2HRs 2R, 3RBI), Hunter Hines (4-4, HR R, 4RBI, BB), and Dakota Jordan (3-3, R, 3RBI, 2BB) lead the way with perfect days at the plate. Alford stared as he blasted home runs in back-to-back plate appearances. The trio collected 10 of State’s 12 RBIs in the game.
Noah Hall started on the hill for the Gamecocks and things were the complete opposite from how his season had be going. He only lasted 2.2IP, 9H, 5R, BB, 2K, 2HRs, and faced a whopping 17 batters. Hall’s ERA jumped to a 3.29 on the season after. Trey Wheeler’s day went similar to Hall’s. He only went 1IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, BB, K, HR, facing 9 batters, moving his ERA to a 7.71 in his freshman season.
- Braylen Wimmer: 2-3, R, 2RBI, HR
Game 3 of the series was the first rubber match in SEC play for the Gamecocks this season. This one was quite the opposite of how things went in Game 2 as Carolina collected 17 total hits on the day, as they went on to win 14-5 and clinched their 3rd straight SEC series win to start the season.
It all got started with another Braylen Wimmer home-run on the first pitch of the game, into the crowd beyond the wall in right field. Gavin Casas and Dylan Brewer followed suit wit ha solo shot each to make it 3-0. After that, the Bulldogs scored 4 straight to take a 4-3 lead but that would be the last time they lead. Cole Messina tied thigns up with an RBI single in the 7th. Then Ethan Petry brought all the boys in with a bases clearing double in the 8th to take a 7-4 lead. But the Gamecocks weren’t finished; they piled it on in the top of the 9th behind a 2-run RBI single from Wimmer, RBI singles from Casas and Petry, a Messina RBI double, and a Caleb Denny RBI double to plate 7 runs in their last frame.
Jack Mahoney got the start for the Gamecocks with a final stat line of 5IP, 5H, 3R, ER, 3K, BB, facing 21 batters. James Hicks earned the decision and W in relief, going 2.2IP, 4H, ER, 4K, 0BB, facing 12 batters. Chris Veach closed it out, but wouldn’t earn another save due to the score, with a 1.1IP, H, R, 0K, 0BB, giving up a home run while facing the minimum 4 batters.
- Braylen Wimmer: 3-4, 4R, 3RBI BB, K
- Ethan Petry: 3-6, R, 4RBI, 2K
- Gavin Casas: 3-6, 2R, 2RBI, 3K
STATS & NOTES
- The Top of the Gamecock lineup (Wimmer, Casas and Petry) went 9-for-16 collecting 7R and 9RBI.
- Carolina wins a series in Starkville for the first time since 2011.
- Ethan Petry leads the Gamecocks with 42RBIs and a .442 average.
- Carolina moves to 7-1 in SEC play.