USC sweeps Kentucky on Saturday
(USC SID)-Columbia, S.C. - Brison Celek's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted 14th ranked South Carolina to a 7-6 win over 17th ranked Kentucky in game two of a doubleheader at Carolina Stadium on Saturday night. The win clinched a doubleheader sweep on Saturday and the weekend series as the Gamecocks improve to 30-10 and 10-7 in the SEC while the loss drops the Wildcats to 24-14 and 7-10 in conference action.
Left-hander Tyler Webb earns the win and improved to 2-1 on the season. The senior pitched three scoreless innings of relief allowing just one hit while striking out four batters. Starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery hurled 5.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, two walks and striking out seven batters. Trevor Gott suffered the loss for Kentucky. The right-hander pitched 2.2 innings, allowed one run on five hits, walked one and struck out two batters. The loss was Gott's first defeat in 46 appearances, his last loss coming in his freshman season. Kentucky's loss was also the Wildcats first defeat when leading after the seventh inning in 64 games, dating back to 2011.
Kentucky took a 1-0 lead over South Carolina in the top of the second. Back to back singles from J.T. Riddle and Greg Fettes put two runners on for the Wildcats and Riddle made it to third when Tanner English misfielded a ball in center field. A squeeze bunt by Matt Reida would bring in Riddle and put Kentucky on the board.
The Gamecocks responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Max Schrock opened the frame with his fourth home run of the season, sending a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right field. Grayson Greiner would then reach base on a throwing error by the Kentucky shortstop and scored the go-ahead run when English crushed a ball to deep right-center field for a triple.
South Carolina added three runs in the bottom of the third, increasing its lead over Kentucky to 5-1. Chase Vergason led off the inning by hammering a ball to right field, just shy of going over the wall for a double. After advancing to third when Pankake grounded out to the Kentucky shortstop, Vergason scored as LB Dantzler doubled to deep right center field. Schrock would then single for his second hit of the game and put runners on the corners. He quickly stole second and a wild pitch from UK starter Jerad Grundy would advance him to third and bring home Dantzler. Greiner drove in Schrock for the final run of the inning with RBI single to center.
In the top of the sixth, Fettes cut South Carolina's lead to 5-3 with a two-run homer over the left field wall.
The Wildcats broke ahead 6-5 in the top of the seventh after a three-run homer off the bat of A.J. Reed. Kyle Barrett was hit by a pitch to open the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A walk to Zac Zellers put two runners on first and second for Reed, who launched a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall.
South Carolina tied the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth. Greiner reached base on a fielding error by the Kentucky third baseman Max Kuhn to start the inning. After Connor Bright sacrificed him into scoring position, Greiner advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Graham Saiko's two-out RBI single to right field.
In the bottom of the 11th the Gamecocks rallied and secured the victory in walk-off fashion. Pankake and Kyle Martin opened the inning with consecutive singles and set the stage for Celek who knocked a 3-1 pitch to left field and drove in Pankake for the winning run.
The Gamecocks tallied 14 hits against the Wildcats including six for extra bases. Dantzler was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Pankake finished with three hits in the game and a run scored and Greiner added two hits, a RBI and scored two runs.
The series finale between the Gamecocks and the Wildcats is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and is available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game." It can also be heard at GamecocksOnline.com on the All Access Channel.