USC baseball coach Mark Kingston changed up his pitching rotation for this weekend’s series with Mississippi State in hopes of creating some new “mojo” for his team that had won only one SEC series opening game this season. It didn’t help as the Gamecocks fell to the Bulldogs 9-0. The Gamecocks are now 1-7 on Friday (and Thursday) nights in SEC play.
It’s the first time the Gamecocks have been shutout at home since a 2-0 loss to North Carolina A&T on March 26th, 2019. And it’s the third time they’ve been shutout this season, the others coming at Texas and at Vanderbilt.
Brannon Jordan (4-4) moved from the #2 starter role to Friday night’s starter, and he pitched well enough over six innings allowing three runs and scattering eight hits. But, as has been the case throughout the SEC season in most series openers, Jordan had no offensive support. The Gamecocks managed one hit and three baserunners off Mississippi State starter Christian MacLeod thru six innings.
Two of those baserunners came in the third when the Gamecocks had runners on the corners with two outs. But Colin Burgess struck out swinging, with the catcher throwing him out at first, to end the threat.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the top of the first on an RBI single and a double-play ground ball. They added a run in the fifth, and put the game away against freshman reliever Magdiel Cotto in the seventh. After relieving Jordan, Cotto allowed five runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batsmen in his first career SEC game appearance.
The Gamecocks did have a chance to get on the board in the ninth loading the bases with two outs, but George Callil grounded out to the first baseman with the pitcher covering to end the game.
USC falls to 27-16 and 11-11 in the SEC. Mississippi State improves to 34-10 and 15-7. Game two of the series will be Saturday at 4:00 PM. Will Sanders is scheduled to start for the Gamecocks.