Gamecocks Get Swept on the Road in Kentucky

Kentucky Proud ParkLexington, Kentucky

Game 1

Friday, May 5th, 2023

The #3 South Carolina Gamecocks dropped a 2nd consecutive series opener, falling 7-3 to the #21 Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky got off to a good start, scoring a run in each of the 1st two innings of the game. The first on a wild pitch from Carolina Starter, Will Sanders, and the second by way of an inside-the-park homer from James McCoy who hit a deep shot to center field that was lost in the sun.

The Gamecocks plated across a run in the 4th thanks to a Gavin Casas homer who is back in the lineup after dealing with an injury recently. But Wildcat Hunter Gilliam blasted a 2-run homer to make it a 4-1 game in the 5th. Sanders as stated, started on the mound for the Gamecocks. He went 5IP, 6H, 4R, 7K, 3BB, giving up 2HRs on 86 pitches. Eli Jones came on in relief in the 6th and had a clean, 3 batter inning. But in the 7th, things got shaky.

The 7th inning was full of action and scoring as both teams plated multiple runs. Carolina. Dylan Brewer notched an RBI single up the middle, and later in the inning, came into score thanks to a Cole Messina sac fly to make it a one run ballgame. Kentucky would respond immediately with 3 runs of their own off of Jones. A bases loaded walk and a 2RBI single from Ryan Waldschmidt to stretch the lead back to 4 runs. That would be the difference as the final score stayed 7-3. The Gamecocks were unable to manufacture anything else in the game.

Travis Smith (4-1) picked up the win with a fantastic pitching performance (his 1st career SEC start) vs a stout Gamecock lineup. He went 6IP, 4H, ER, 5K, 3BB on 83 pitches. Mason Moore came on and shut the door in a jam in the 7th in place of Ryan Hagenow who gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, only recording one out. Moore powered his way to a long relief save (his 4th) going, 2.2IP, H, 0R, 3K, BB on 42 pitches.


  • Hunter Gilliam: 1-2, 3RBI, R, BB
  • Jase Felker: 2-2, 2R, 2BB


  • The Gamecocks have now lost back-to-back SEC series openers.
  • James McCoy’s inside-the-park homer was Kentucky’s 1st since Riley Mahan’s at LSU in 2015.
  • Carolina entered the game 3rd in the nation with 98 home runs.

Game 2

Saturday, May 6th, 2023

The bats came alive for the Gamecocks and stayed hot for the Wildcats in game 2 of the series as Kentucky topped Carolina by a touchdown, in a 14-7 football score game. The Cats scratched across 2 runs in the 2nd before Cole Messina blasted a bases leading double and advancing to 3rd on the throw home to take a 3-2 lead. UK would fight back and tie it on a 2-base wild pitch in the 3rd before an RBI double and RBI single in the 4th to take a 5-3 lead. But the Yardcocks responded back with a 2-run blast from Gavin Casas for the 2nd straight day to tie it up.

Kentucky wouldn’t stop however, as Jase Felker ropes clutch bases clearing a triple. in the 5th, and a 3-run blast from James McCoy to make it 11-5, who got to jog around the bases this time, instead of racing for the inside-the-parker yesterday. Casas was doing everything he could as he launched his 2nd homer of the day to make it 12-6. But 2 more runs from UK and a bullpen that was able to hold on, sealed the series win for the Wildcats.

Austin Strickland (3-0) picked up the win after going 5IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 6K, 2BB thanks to his guys at the plate. Tyler Bosma threw in relief and went 3.1IP, 3H, 3ER, 3K, 4BB on 80 pitches in relief. Jack Mahoney started for Carolina and struggled, going 4IP, 7H, 5ER, 2K, 4BB, going 99 pitches. James Hicks would relieve him and end up taking the loss (6-1), going 3IP, 6H, 7ER, 2K, BB throwing 53 pitches.


  • Gavin Casas: 3-5, 3RBI, 2R, 2HRs, K
  • Jase Felker: 1-4, 3RBI, R, K
  • James McCoy: 2-4, 3RBI, 2R, BB, K


  • UK earned its first series win over a Top 5 opponent since defeating No. 1 Tennessee at Kentucky Proud Park exactly one year ago.

Game 3

Sunday, May 7th, 2023

The Wildcats showed up and showed out in game 3 on their way to an impressive sweep over the #3 Gamecocks at home, behind UK starter Zack Lee. Lee was impressive on the bump and racked up a career high 12 strikeouts in 6.2IP, allowing 7 hits, surrendering 2 runs, and no walks. Kentucky continued their early game scoring with 2 in the 1st inning on an error and an RBI single to center. Gamecock Dylan Brewer mashed a 2-run homer in the 3rd but that was all the damage that Carolina would do and it was all Wildcats after that. An RBI ground out, a bases loaded hit-by-pitch and walk made it 5-2 in the 3rd. Kentucky kept pounding as James McCoy homered for the 3rd consecutive day and Ryan Waldschmidt double to push it to the final score of 9-2.

The Gamecocks could just never string enough hits together as they tried to fight their way back. 8 men were left on base in the game, 4 from the top 2 guys in the order (Braswell and Brewer) who collected 4 combined hits. Matthew Becker started on the mound for Carolina and unfortunately struggled. Becker who took the loss (4-1) went 4IP, 5H, 5R, 3ER, 4K, 5BB. The bullpen of Jerzembeck, Proctor, and Austin combined for 4IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, K, BB.

South Carolina continued to struggle and slide as of late as they drop their 2nd consecutive SEC series, this one on the road after falling to Auburn at home the week prior.


  • Ryan Waldschmidt: 1-4, 2RBI, BB
  • James McCoy: 1-4, 2RBI, R, 2K
  • Dylan Brewer: 2-3, 2RBI, R


  • South Carolina gets swept for the first time this season.
  • Dylan Brewer extended his on base streak to 21 games.
  • UK has scored in 344 of 351 games in Coach Nick Mingione’s tenure.
  • UK swept a Top 5 opponent for the first time since doing so against No. 2 South Carolina in 2012.
  • Mingione now is 10-10 vs. South Carolina.
  • UK is 9-7 this season vs ranked opponents and 4-5 vs Top 5 opponents.
  • UK swept its 3rd SEC series.
  • UK has 18 wins versus the RPI Top 50 and has the RPI’s No.1 strength of schedule.

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