Fourth-ranked Tennessee erupted for six runs in the fourth inning to build a 7-0 lead and went on to a 10-4 win over USC in the series opener at Founders Park. Gamecock starter Brannon Jordan held the Vols to a single hit, a homer, thru three innings. But things came apart for him in the fourth.
With one out, Jordan allowed a walk, a two-run homer, another walk, an RBI double and an RBI single. After a second out, Jordan gave up another home and a single before being replaced by John Gilreath.
Down 7-0, the Gamecocks scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two run homer by Wes Clarke, his nation-leading 21st of the season.
The game stayed 7-2 until the bottom of the 8th when the Gamecocks gave their biggest crowd of the season of over 4000 fans reason for hope. With one out, Andrew Eyster hit a two run homer to cut the deficit to 7-4. After Clarke struck out, Josiah Sightler beat out a ground ball to short. But Braylen Wimmer took a called third strike on a full count to end the inning, a call that brought Gamecock coach Mark Kingston out of the dugout to show his disapproval with home plate umpire Damien Beal.
The Vols added a pair of runs in the 9th off Gilreath and Andrew Peters. The Gamecocks got a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth, but a double-play and ground out ended the game.
Tennessee starter Chad Dallas (9-1) allowed five hits and four runs over 7.2 innings. He struck out eight and walked one. Sean Hunley finished up to earn his sixth save. Jordan (5-5) took the loss. The Vols are 41-13 and 19-9 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are 32-19 and 15-13.