South Carolina finished off a dramatic 9-8 walk off win over no. 25 Ole Miss at Founders Park, Saturday, when pinch-hitter Jalen Vasquez’s sacrifice fly proved deep enough for Talmadge Lecroy to scoot across the plate with the winning run.
The Gamecocks entered the ninth in command of Ole Miss, 8-5. But lefthanded reliever Matthew Becker promptly surrendered two runs on a walk and three hits. Cade Austin entered with runners on first and second and nobody out. USC’s stopper retired the first two before giving up a game-tying two-run double. Austin (2-1) bounced back to finish the frame with a strikeout, keeping the game tied to set up Vasquez’s heroics.
USC (18-17, 6-9) built its lead on home runs from Carson Hornung, Braylen Wimmer and Josiah Sightler. Staff ace Will Sanders doesn’t get credit for the win, but he set his team up for success with 6.1 innings of work. Sanders held Ole Miss hitless for over four innings and walked just one. The Rebels lineup had more success the third time through, but Sanders gutted it out into the seventh to lighten the load on the Gamecocks thin bullpen. Andrew Eyster also aided the cause, picking up two hits and scoring twice, and Brandt Belk extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a sixth-inning single.
With the win, South Carolina takes its second series against a ranked conference opponent (Vanderbilt). The Gamecocks are back in action at 6 p.m., Wednesday, on the road at Winthrop.