South Carolina evened up its series with no. 14 Georgia in style with a 13-7 victory at Founders Park, Saturday. If a walk is a jab and a single is a glancing blow, Colin Burgess’ three-run homer served as an uppercut to Georgia’s jaw.
The Gamecocks built an early five-run lead on the strength of productive outs, plate discipline and a loss of command on the part of Bulldogs pitching. Through four innings, starter Garrett Brown and reliever Luke Wagner combined for five walks, a hit batsmen and two run-scoring wild pitches. Georgia climbed back into the game on Cole Tate’s two-run homer in the top of the fifth, but USC jumped all over Wagner again in the bottom half to extend the lead. Braylen Wimmer opened the frame with a single back up the middle and Andrew Eyster battled his way on with an eight-pitch walk. After Kevin Madden and Josiah Sightler were retired, Wagner tried to sneak a breaking ball past Burgess on a 2-1 count. Unfortunately for the southpaw, the ball stayed up at the letters and the sophomore catcher lofted it to the opposite field for a three-run homer. Burgess finished with four RBI.
The Dawgs (23-8, 7-4) threatened again in the eighth thanks to another two-run homer, but the Gamecocks (15-15, 4-7) put up a five-spot in the bottom half, highlighted by Eyster’s two-run double, to put the game out of reach. The Gamecocks drew a season-high 11 walks, Will Sanders (5-1) picked up the victory and Brandt Belk extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a third-inning single.
South Carolina and Georgia conclude their three-game series at noon, Sunday.