USC proved Friday night at Founders Park that turnabout is fair play. After taking a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of fourth ranked Vanderbilt Thursday night, the Gamecocks put an 8-2 thrashing on the Commodores to break their five-game losing streak and win for the first time this season in five SEC games. Vandy had their 18-game winning streak snapped.
Will Sanders (4-1) started and gave Mark Kingston seven quality innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out eleven. Cade Austin worked the final two innings of scoreless relief giving up three hits.
Vanderbilt starter Carlton Holton (4-1) came into the game having held opponents to a .111 batting average. He didn’t make it out of the second inning. USC scored three in the first on RBI singles by Andrew Eyster and Michael Braswell, and a sacrifice fly by Thad Ector.
The Gamecocks added four more runs in the second on a three-run homer by Eyster and a RBI double from Brandt Belk. The tacked on their eighth run on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Eyster had two hits and four RBIs raising his average to .368. Belk added three hits and is hitting .342 on the season. The Gamecocks had a dozen hits but they did strike out 16 times with Commodores reliever Patrick Reilly recording 14 of them.
The Gamecocks are 11-11. The Commodores fell to 19-3 and 4-1 in the SEC. The rubber game of the series will be Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM. Lefthander Michael Belcher will start for USC against a to be named Vandy starter.