USC scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and weathered a Presbyterian rally in the top of the ninth to take a 4-3 win over the Blue Hose Tuesday night in the regular season finale at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks ran their winning streak to five and improved to 38-14. The Blue Hose fall to 4-3 with their second straight one run loss to the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Graham Saiko led off with a single and scored on double by Chase Vergason. Joey Pankake then drew a walk and Max Schrock singled to center field to load the bases. Grayson Greiner then grounded a double play ball to second which scored Vergason from third.
PC scored a run in the second and tied the game in the seventh. The Blue Hose put runners on the corners with one out and Jay Lizanich got the run home with a grounder to second.
The Gamecocks responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. The Gamecocks loaded the bases with no one out and Saiko drove a sacrifice fly to right field to score the go ahead run. Vergason followed with another sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.
PC did not go quietly in the 9th. Nathan Chong led off with a double to left field off Patrick Sullivan and that led to a call to the bullpen for Tyler Webb who made his school record tying 102 appearance. Webb retired the first two hitters he faced then gave up a RBI single to Ryan Hagan to make it a 4-3 game. But he struck out Luzanich swinging on an 0-2 pitch to end the game.
Sullivan earned the win to improve to 2-0 and Webb earned his 15th save. Forrest Koumas started for the Gamecocks and allowed four hits and one run over three innings. Evan Beal and Joel Seddon also pitched for USC. PC starter Tim Corbin took the loss to fall to 2-4.
The Gamecocks head to Mississippi State for their final regular season series Thursday thru Saturday. They need one victory to clinch the fourth seed in the SEC and a first day bye for next week’s tournament.