USC is finishing the SEC regular season the way it started it. The Gamecocks won their first six league games. With their 4-2 win over Alabama Friday night in Tuscaloosa, they’ve won three straight league games and will seek to make it four in a row Saturday afternoon.
The win pushes USC back into first in the SEC East by a game over Florida which lost Friday night to LSU. It also clinches at least a top four finish in the league keeping the Gamecocks out of the Tuesday play-in SEC Tournament games.
And the Gamecocks can still win the overall SEC title outright if they win Saturday and Mississippi State and Texas A&M lose, and Florida loses one of its two games with LSU.
Designated hitter John Jones, who has been in a horrendous slump, repaid his coach for sticking with him by delivering the game winning blow, a two run homer in the fifth to give the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead. Dom Thompson-Williams homered in the sixth for a 4-1 cushion.
Braden Webb pitched into the seventh inning and was lifted for Josh Reagan after giving up a leadoff single. Reagan stranded the runner and first. In the eighth, Reagan pitched his way into a bases loaded jam with two outs but got out of it allowing just one run.
Reagan got the first two outs of the ninth but was relieved by Tyler Johnson after giving up a single. Johnson got a quick strikeout to pick up the second save of the series and eighth of the season. Webb earned his tenth win in 14 decisions.
Every starter in the Gamecock lineup except catcher Chris Cullen had at least one hit and the Gamecocks had ten for the game, their third straight game with double digit hits. They also were flawless in the field.
The Gamecocks are now 41-13 and 19-9 in SEC play. Adam Hill will start on the mound in Saturday’s regular season finale which is scheduled for a 3:00 PM Eastern start.
VIDEO: Chad Holbrook post game comments (from TheBigSpur)
VIDEO: John Jones post game interview (from TheBigSpur)
VIDEO: Braden Webb post game interview (from TheBigSpur)