USC rallied from a 2-0 deficit thru 4 innings with 1 run in the 5th and 3 in the 7th for a 4-2 win over Missouri in the single-elimination round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. The Gamecocks advance to play Arkansas in the final game of the day Wednesday night in the double-elimination part of the tournament. And they made a winner of Mark Kingston in his SEC Tournament debut.
The Gamecocks loaded the bases in the 7th with one out. Carlos Cortes drew a walk to tie the game and Madison Stokes followed with a sacrifice fly to left for the go ahead run. Jonah Bride then delivered an RBI single to give the Gamecocks some breathing room.
Carmen Mlodzinski started and went the first 5 innings allowing both Mizzou runs. John Gilreath, Eddy Demurias and Graham Lawson finished up with four innings of one-hit pitching. Demurias (6-0) earned the win and Lawson picked up his 2nd save getting a double play ground ball to end the game. It’s the first loss of the season for the Tigers when leading after 6 innings.
Noah Campbell, LT Tolbert and Hunter Taylor each had 2 hits to lead a 9 hit Gamecock offense.
For the second year in a row the Gamecocks survived the play-in round of the tournament after going four straight tournaments without a victory. The Gamecocks made it to the semi-finals last year before falling to eventual champ LSU.
USC is now 33-22 overall and 18-13 in SEC games. The went 1-2 against Arkansas in Fayetteville in mid-April suffering a pair of shutouts in a Saturday doubleheader of games shortened to seven innings due to weather.
The Razorbacks will start lefty Kacey Murphy who limited the Gamecocks to 1 hit over 6 innings in game two of that series. Mark Kingston did not name his starter after Tuesday’s game.
And it could be another long day in Hoover Wednesday as there’s a forecast for a 72% chance of rain.