USC finally is on the board first again in an SEC series. The Gamecocks had lost the opening game in five straight league matchups until defeating Kentucky 12-6 Friday night in Lexington. The Gamecocks improve to 13-12 in the SEC and 29-18 overall. Starter Brannon Jordan picked up his 5th win and Julian Bosnic earned his 4th save.
The Gamecocks had plenty of offense with 12 hits leading to the 12 runs. They also left 14 on base. They were 5-23 with runners in scoring position. But they did have four extra base hits including a homer by Braylon Wimmer.
Wimmer, Brady Allen and Josiah Sightler each had three hits. Wimmer and Wes Clarke each had three RBIs.
The Gamecocks never trailed jumping out to a 4-0 first inning lead. And that first inning outburst had to be a shock to Gamecock fans who have seen their team struggle in the first inning of SEC games all season. In fact, in their previous 24 league games, the Gamecocks had scored just 5 runs total in those combined first innings. So, a 4-0 first inning lead was quite the luxury for Jordan.
Clarke and Sightler had RBI singles in the first and Wimmer a two run triple. Kentucky rallied with three runs in the third, but USC scored three in the fourth and three in the fifth to build what turned out to be an insurmountable 10-3 lead.
Allen, Sightler and David Mendham had RBIs in the fourth. In the fifth, two runs scored via wild pitches, and Clarke got another RBI with a ground out.
Kentucky put another three-spot on the board in the seventh, but Clarke drew a bases loaded walk in the eighth, and Wimmer hit a solo homer in the ninth for the final 12-6 spread.
Jordan allowed five hits and three runs over five innings. He struck out six and walked four. Daniel Lloyd, Andrew Peters and Bosnic finished up with Lloyd allowing the other three runs on three hits.