Second ranked South Carolina scored in six of nine innings with Christian Walker going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and Peter Mooney, Evan Marzilli and Robert Beary driving in two runs apiece as the Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State 8-2 on Friday evening in game one of a three-game SEC baseball series at Dudy Noble Field. Carolina is 30-7 and 13-3 in the SEC while the loss drops Mississippi State to 23-15 and 6-10 in league play.
Junior left-hander Michael Roth worked 6.1 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks to pick up the win. He is now 9-1 on the year. MSU starter Chris Stratton suffered the loss and is now 4-5 on the year. He allowed seven runs, five earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with an unearned run against Stratton. Christian Walker singled to right field with two outs and Brady Thomas reached base on catcher’s interference called on MSU backstop Wes Thigpen. On a 1-2 pitch, Adrian Morales drilled a RBI double down the right field line to score Walker and give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. MSU responded in the bottom of the first with an unearned run of its own. C.T. Bradford led off with a walk, reached second on a passed ball and scored on Jarrod Parks’ one-out RBI single to left-center.
South Carolina went back ahead 3-1 in the top of the second inning. Peter Mooney walked to lead off the second and Evan Marzilli would reach base on a fielding error by MSU shortstop Jonathan Ogden. They would both score on Robert Beary’s RBI double to the gap in right-center. MSU cut the deficit to one run in the bottom half of the second as Jonathan Ogden delivered with a one-out solo home run to left field, his seventh homer of the year.
After a scoreless third inning, South Carolina extended the lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning on the backs of a two-run homer by Evan Marzilli. Jake Williams would reach on a one-out infield single to third base to set the stage for Marzilli. On a full count, Marzilli drilled his second home run of the season to right-center that gave Carolina a three-run cushion. South Carolina increased the lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth inning scoring with two outs as Brady Thomas singled, Adrian Morales was hit by a pitch and Thomas scored on Peter Mooney’s RBI base hit up the middle. Carolina added single runs in the sixth and ninth innings to complete the scoring. Jake Williams scored on a double play in the sixth and Walker scored his second run in the ninth inning on a RBI double from Mooney.
South Carolina out-hit MSU 14-5 on the evening. Walker’s four hits led the way with Mooney, Williams and Marzilli with two apiece.
Game two of the series is set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and will be televised live on SportSouth.