Gamecocks eliminated by Vanderbilt 4-3
Hoover, Ala. - For the second consecutive day, 12th ranked South Carolina rallied from three runs down, however top ranked Vanderbilt loaded the bases in the 10th inning and with one out a RBI base hit from Conrad Gregor lifted the Commodores to a 4-3 win over the Gamecocks in an elimination game on Thursday afternoon at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Gamecocks are now 39-18 with Vanderbilt 49-8 on the year. South Carolina now awaits word on the announcement of the NCAA Division I Championship 64-team field that will be announced on Monday at Noon eastern on ESPNU. Host sites to the 16 NCAA Regionals will be announced on Sunday at approximately 9 p.m ET on NCAA.COM and the Bottom Line on the ESPN Networks.
With the score deadlocked at 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th, Tony Kemp led off with a base hit to right field for the Commodores. Xavier Turner then came up with a big hit as he squared up to bunt but then turned back into a batting stance and pushed a base hit into right field to give Vanderbilt runners on the corners. The Gamecocks went to the pen for left-hander Tyler Webb. Webb would keep the game in check with a strikeout of Mike Yastrzemski for the first out of the inning. After Connor Harrell was intentionally walked, Conrad Gregor knocked a grounder through the right side and into right field for a base hit scoring Kemp and clinching the victory for the Commodores.
South Carolina senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland suffered the loss and is 7-3 on the year. He allowed one run on one hit in 0.2 innings. Vanderbilt reliever Carson Fulmer pitched 4.1 innings of relief to pick up the win. He is now 2-0 on the year. He allowed one run on three hits in 4.1 innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
Vanderbilt took advantage of a Gamecock error to score three runs in the bottom of the second inning. After Connor Harrell and Conrad Gregor each singled to open the frame, a throwing error by Montgomery on a sac attempt by Kyle Smith led to both runners scoring for the Commodores. Montgomery threw high and past Dantzler at first base allowing both runners to advance home. John Norwood would add sac fly scoring Smith to give Vanderbilt a three-run cushion.
South Carolina answered in the top of the third inning to cut the deficit to a pair of runs. Carolina loaded the bases with one out on base hits from Mac Schrock and Joey Pankake and a hit by pitch to LB Dantzler. Schrock would score the Gamecocks first run on a fielder's choice off the bat of Grayson Greiner.
The Gamecocks crept to within a run in the top of the sixth inning with three straight batters reaching base with two outs. Tanner English doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Ziomek. After a walk to TJ Costen put runners on the corners, Max Schrock knocked a RBI base hit up the middle scoring English.
LB Dantzler tied it at 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run off Fulmer. It marked Dantzler's team-leading 15th home run of the season.
South Carolina senior left-hander Jordan Montgomery settled in after the second inning. He went 7.2 innings and allowed three runs, all unearned, on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in a no-decision. Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
South Carolina had 11 hits to nine hits for Vanderbilt in the game. Schrock, Pankake and Brison Celek all had two hits apiece for Carolina. Harrell, Gregor and Vince Conde had two hits apiece to lead the Commodores.