Second ranked South Carolina pounded out 11 hits and scored six times in the seventh inning on its way to a 10-2 victory over Auburn to clinch a three-game SEC baseball series on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina is now 34-8 and 16-4 in the SEC while the loss drops Auburn to 23-20 and 9-11 in the SEC. Sunday’s series finale is at 3 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN and can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.
South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes worked a career-high 7.1 innings and allowed just two runs on four hits to pick up the win. He is now 4-1 on the year. Holmes also tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in the victory. Auburn starting pitcher Derek Varnadore suffered the loss and is now 4-2 for the season. He allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits in 3.1 innings. The Gamecocks did not strike out at all in Saturday’s victory vs. the Tigers.
Carolina’s 11-hit evening featured 2-for-3 day at the plate by Brady Thomas with three runs scored, 2-for-3 by Evan Marzilli with two runs and two RBI as well as two hits and two runs scored courtesy of Jake Williams.
Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Brady Thomas led off with a walk and after a Jake Williams’ double, scored on a sacrifice fly from Adrian Morales. Auburn would tie the game at 1-1 on a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning by Kevin Patterson, his eighth homer of the season.
Carolina struck right back in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Thomas and Williams started it again for the Gamecocks with a walk and a single respectively. After a sacrifice bunt from Morales, Evan Marzilli laced a RBI single to the gap in left-center scoring Thomas. With the bases loaded and one out, DeSean Anderson drove in Williams with a RBI fielder’s choice. That bags still full, Peter Mooney would be hit by a pitch as Carolina took a three-run cushion as Marzilli scored.
The Gamecocks broke the game open in the seventh inning scoring six runs against the Tigers’ bullpen. Carolina batted around in the seventh as Peter Mooney walked to lead off the frame followed by a one-out intentional walk to Christian Walker. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Mooney scored on an infield single from Thomas. With the bases full and one out, Morales lifted his second sacrifice fly of the day to right field scoring Walker. Marzilli tallied a RBI base hit and Robert Beary drove in a pair of runs with a double as Carolina built a 10-1 lead. Auburn added a single run in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Justin Fradejas, his third homer of the year.
Carolina will send sophomore right-hander Forrest Koumas (4-0, 2.85 ERA) to the hill against Auburn left-hander Cory Luckie (1-1, 4.60 ERA) on Sunday.