East Carolina jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and held off a late South Carolina rally to defeat the Gamecocks 4-2 and win the rubber game of a three-game series at Clark-LeClair Stadium. South Carolina drops to 4-2 on the year while the win improves East Carolina to 4-3 for the season. South Carolina returns to action on Tuesday night hosting Presbyterian with first pitch at Carolina Stadium set for 7 p.m.
East Carolina rode the momentum of a three-run first inning and added a an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth that was enough to back starting pitcher Brad Mincey, who worked seven innings and allowed one run, unearned, on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks to pick up the victory. The game was not without drama though as the Gamecocks scratched back to score a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings only to see the rally fall short. Seth Simmons came on in relief for ECU and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to pick up his first save of the year. Gamecock starter Steven Neff went 3.2 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk to suffer the loss. He is 1-1 on the year.
Another down note for USC: outfielder Adam Mattews left the game in the first inning after spraining his ankle running out a ground ball in the first inning.
USC drops to 4-2 on the season heading into Tuesday’s home game against P.C.