USC (45-12) spotted Auburn (29-28) three unearned runs in the first inning then proceeded to score the next seven runs in a 7-3 victory Wednesday night in round one of the SEC Tournament at Regions Park in Hoover, AL. The Gamecocks advance to play the winner of the Vanderbilt-Georgia game Thursday night.
The Gamecocks and starting pitcher Michael Roth had a shaky start. Adrian Morales mishandled a ground ball on the first batter of the game. Roth got the next two batters out then gave up a pair of singles and a double. Those three unearned runs would be the only runs of the night for the Tigers.
The Gamecocks tied the game in the second on a RBI double by Morales and a two run double by Evan Marzilli. They took the lead in the third. Scott Wingo led off with a walk, stole second and later scored on a single by Jake Williams.
The Gamecocks made it 5-3 in the fourth on a RBI ground rule double by Peter Mooney. And they closed out the scoring in the 6th. DeSean Anderson, pitch hitting for Adam Matthews, laced a single scoring one. And Mooney later delivered the seventh run with a sacrifice fly.
While the Gamecock offense was coming to life, Roth recovered from rocky start and allowed just three hits the rest of the way in recording the Gamecocks’ first complete game of the season. He improved to 11-3 and his ERA dropped to 1.17. Auburn starter John Luke Jacobs took the loss to fall to 1-5.
(Ray Tanner, Michael Roth, Jake Williams Evan Marzilli)