Christian Walker drove in three runs and Peter Mooney, Scott Wingo and Evan Marzilli were a combined 9-for-14 with four runs scored and a pair of RBI as second ranked South Carolina bounced back with a 6-3 win over Alabama on Friday evening in SEC baseball action. Carolina is 43-12 and 21-8 in the SEC, tied for first place with Florida and Vanderbilt going into the final day of action in league play. Alabama is 32-23 and 14-15 in the SEC. The rubber game of the series is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be televised live on CSS as well as on Time Warner Cable channel 506 in Columbia.
Freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas was strong in his start to pick up the win and improve to 6-0 on the year. He allowed one run on five hits in five innings of work with five strikeouts. After a scoreless sixth inning from John Taylor, who tied the single-season record at Carolina for appearances with 37, the Gamecocks went to the pen for Matt Price, who worked the final three innings to earn his 14th save of the year. Price allowed two runs on five hits in three innings with four strikeouts. Alabama starter Adam Morgan suffered the loss and is now 5-5 on the year. He allowed three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
With Carolina trailing 1-0, the Gamecocks struck back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Marzilli singled up the middle with one out and Wingo reached base on a two-out bunt for base hit. On the play, Alabama third baseman Brett Booth threw wild to second base and Marzilli advanced to third to give Carolina runners on the corners. That set the stage for Walker, who had an eight-pitch at-bat delivering a two-run double to the gap in left-center that scored both runners. Walker made it 3-1 in the seventh inning then with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Marzilli.
After Price hurled a perfect bottom of the seventh, the Gamecocks gained insurance with three more runs in the eighth inning. After a two-out single by Robert Beary and a walk to DeSean Anderson, Marzilli ripped a two-run double down the left field line that scored both runners. Mooney added a RBI single up the middle that gave the Gamecocks a 6-1 edge. Alabama came back with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings and had the tying run at the plate with runners on the corners and two outs in the ninth but Price coaxed Jared Reaves into a ground out to shortstop Peter Mooney that preserved the win.
Marzilli’s 3-for-4 day featured three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Wingo scored a run and Mooney drove in a run as both were 3-for-4 as well. Carolina had 13 hits on the evening. Reaves, Austen Smith, Brett Booth and Hunter Gregory had two hits apiece to pace the 11-hit attack from Alabama. Alabama struck first with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the early 1-0 lead. Jared Reaves led off with a double into the left field corner and scored on Austen Smith’s double to deep center field.
South Carolina will send sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes (5-2, 3.70 ERA) to the mound on Saturday versus Alabama senior left-hander Jonathan Smart (4-1, 2.21 ERA).