The USC baseball team won its last three tournament outings in 2010 on the way to the national championship. The Gamecocks had hoped to keep the streak going in 2011 starting with the SEC Tournament, but a second straight sub-par performance in the field has them packing their bags for Columbia.
The Gamecocks dropped a 4-2 decision to Georgia Friday night in an elimination game and will now wait for Sunday’s announcement by the NCAA regarding regional home sites. USC is a lock for that, and the two losses in Hoover probably will not be enough to drop them from a top eight seed. But the dream of being the #1 seed is out the door.
For the third game in a row in Hoover, the Gamecocks fell behind in the first inning. And a fielding error again played a major role. Second baseman Scott Wingo mishandled a grounder from Georgia’s leadoff hitter Levi Hyams. It was Wingo’s third error in three games. Hyams would later score on a double by Kyle Farmer. A single by Chase Davidson scored two more runs for the Bulldogs as the took the early 3-0 lead.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the second on a single by Evan Marzilli. They loaded the bases with two outs but DeSean Anderson struck out to end the threat.
Georgia answered with a run in the second for a 4-1 lead. The Gamecocks responded with a run in the third on another Marzilli single. Again they loaded the bases but the threat died on a double play ball off the bat of Robert Beary.
And that would be it for the scoring. The Gamecocks threatened in the sixth getting two on with one out but a double play on a hard hit ground by up the middle by Steven Neff ended the inning.
In the 7th, the Gamecocks again had runners on first and second with two outs. But Jake Williams struck out swinging to end the threat.
A two out double by Beary gave USC some hope in the 8th, but he was left stranded as Neff lined out to centerfield. And the Gamecocks went down in order in the ninth.
(Ray Tanner, Adrian Morales, Colby Holmes, Evan Marzilli)
Colby Holmes (6-3) started for USC and took the loss. He lasted five innings and allowed six hits and three earned runs. John Taylor worked an inning and Matt Price two innings. Price, seeing his first action of the tournament, was not sharp as he allowed two hits, hit two batters and walked one. He did strike out two batters.
For their three games in the tournament, the Gamecocks batted .242 (23 of 95). They scored 11 runs, 10 of them earned. The Gamecocks allowed 14 runs, 9 of them earned. Eight of those runs were scored in the first inning. And USC committed five errors in the three games.
Evan Marzilli led the Gamecock hitters going 4-10 with 4 RBI. The Gamecocks left 18 runners on base in their two losses.