Texas hit a pair of solo home runs off USC starter Brannon Jordan in the 5th inning, and that was more than enough for the Longhorns as they defeated the Gamecocks for the second straight day 3-0 in Austin to clinch the series between the two top 20 teams. It’s the first series the Gamecocks have lost this season as they fall to 11-2.
Jordan retired the first 9 batters he faced, and survived a bases-loaded, one out situation in the 4th with a pair of strikeouts. But Peyton Powell led off the bottom of the 5th with a home run to left on a 2-1 pitch. One out later, the #9 hitter Mitchell Daly drove the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for a 2-0 lead. Texas added the final run when Brett Thomas balked home a runner from third.
The Gamecocks’ had a great chance to score off Texas starter Tristan Stevens in the 3rd after George Callil led off with a single and Brady Allen followed with a double. Jeff Heinrich, making his return to the lineup after missing the previous 7 games recovering from an ankle injury, laced a hard shot right back to Stevens who held the runners while getting the first out. Wes Clarke was then walked to load the bases, and Josiah Sightler hit a grounder to second that was turned into a double play.
USC also had a scoring opportunity in the 5th after getting runners to first and third with one out. But Stevens struck out Henrich and Clarke swinging to end the threat. The Gamecocks would not get a runner into scoring position the rest of the game against Stevens and reliever Palmer Wenzel. The Gamecocks have managed just 1 run and 7 hits in the first two games of the series.
Jordan took the loss after giving up the two home runs over his five innings. He allowed just 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 6. Game three will be Sunday at Noon. The Gamecocks will start Julian Bosnic on the mound.