South Carolina scored a combined nine runs in the third and fourth innings and freshman righthander Matt Price hurled five scoreless innings of relief to earn his third win of the year as South Carolina defeated Mississippi State 14-2 on Sunday afternoon to win the rubber game of a three-game SEC baseball series.
Ray Tanner postgame audio
South Carolina is now 22-6 and 7-2 in the SEC while the loss drops MSU to 15-13 and 3-6 in conference play. The middle of the order did a lot of damage for the Gamecocks on the afternoon with the 3-6 hitters driving in nine of the 14 runs. All nine starters reached base with eight of nine tallying at least one hit.
Adrian Morales was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI with Parker Bangs also going 1-for-3 with three runs scored, three RBI and a homer. Nick Ebert also homered and drove in a pair of runs. Kyle Enders, Bobby Haney and Scott Wingo each had two hits. Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 15 games and has now hit safely in 27 of 28 games on the year. South Carolina finished with 11 hits on the afternoon.
It was enough support for Price, who came on in the fourth inning and shut down MSU until the ninth inning. Price allowed just two hits and struck out six batters to improve to 3-0 on the year.
Freshman right-hander Ethan Carterclosed out the game with a perfect ninth inning to seal the Gamecock win.
MSU starter Tyler Whitney lasted only2.1 innings and suffered the loss. He is 0-1 on the year. He allowed five runs on two hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
South Carolina has now defeated Mississippi State in five consecutive series in Columbia dating back to the 2000 season. Carolina leads the all-time series 30-25. The Gamecocks are tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference with a 7-2 mark. Carolina is also one game ahead of Florida (6-3) in the SEC Eastern Division.