USC put itself in a hole entering the SEC Tournament with a less than stellar regular season. After two wins in three days in Hoover, including a 10-2 bashing of Missouri Thursday, the Gamecocks have climbed far enough out to at least hear their name and NCAA Tournament mentioned in the same breath. And with a win Friday over either LSU or Kentucky, who knows. Their season might not end in Hoover after all.
The Gamecocks continued their power surge Thursday in winning a second SEC Tournament game for the first time since 2007. They cranked out four more long balls with Carlos Cortes hitting a pair of three run homers. Alex Destino and Jonah Bride added solo shots giving the Gamecocks seven home runs in their three games in Hoover.
That was more than enough offense for starter and winner Wil Crowe. If this was, indeed, his final outing in a USC uniform, the hard throwing righthander went out in style. Hitting the mid to high 90s with his fastball and mixing in a nasty slider, Crowe struck out nine and allowed four hits over six innings while throwing 122 pitches.
Chad Holbrook will turn the ball, and the season, over to Adam Hill for Friday afternoon’s start. And he’ll have some rested arms ready behind him in Josh Reagan and Reed Scott. Tyler Johnson, who threw 73 pitches on Tuesday but dealt with arm issues earlier in the season, might not be available.
Here’s what Holbrook and the Gamecocks were saying after the game about the win over Missouri and what’s ahead.
Chad Holbrook on Gamecocks’ home run prowess
Wil Crowe, Alex Destino, Carlos Cortes