Can we just start opting out of the SEC Tournament? Like, I don’t care what kind of record we have, can we just forgo ever returning to Hoover? Because whenever the Gamecocks take their talents there, it seems that most of the actual talent gets left in Columbia.
Maybe that’s a little harsh, but as of late USC has had an uncanny ability to do very little well at the conference tournament. At least they’re consistent.
Since they’re dunzo in Hoover, the team (now 39-18 overall) will just wait until Sunday to find out whether or not they’ll get to host a Regional. While a good showing in the tournament would have helped, I think they should still be able to lock down a host spot. Fingers crossed.
Now, a quick recap of their short stint in Hoover:
South Carolina 3, Mississippi State 5
This game got off to an unfortunate start and though the Cocks rallied midway through, it wasn’t enough. Maybe they got distracted by the incessant yelling from the Bulldogs fans, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t quite have it all together on Wednesday night.
MSU got their first two runs in the first inning. Adam Frazier led off with a single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Hunter Renfroe knocked a one-out base hit, then Wes Rea singled with two outs for the first run. Demarcus Henderson followed that with a RBI base hit of his own to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs added another run in the third. Brett Pirtle started things off with a double, advanced to third when Rea laid down a sac bunt, and came home on a sacrifice fly from Henderson.
Carolina tied things up in the next inning, though. Joey Pankake singled with one out, birthday boy LB Dantzler followed that with a base hit, and both moved up thanks to a wild pitch. Grayson Greiner and Max Schrock took back-to-back walks to bring in one run, then Brison Celek came through with a two-RBI single that knotted the score at 3-3.
Things stayed that way until the top of the ninth, when Mississippi State got their final two runs. Frazier led off with a base hit, Alex Detz followed suit, Pirtle walked with two outs, and then Rea singled to make it 4-3. Henderson did the same, knocking a RBI base hit that put the Bulldogs up 5-3.
Outside of a single from Graham Saiko, the Yardcocks couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the inning and dropped a heartbreaker, moving them to the loser’s bracket for their second game of the tournament.
South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits, three runs, walked two batters, and struck out five. He also notched a wild pitch and hit a batter. Adam Westmoreland threw two innings and gave up two hits, two runs, a walk, and tallied two K’s. He took the loss and drops to 7-2. Tyler Webb also pitched and surrendered just two hits and a walk.
MSU starter Luis Pollorena lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed four hits, three runs, walked three batters, and tallied two K’s and a wild pitch. Myles Gentry went the rest of the way and gave up just three hits, three walks, and struck out eight batters. He earned the win and improves to 4-0.
Seven different Gamecocks had a hit (though no one had more than one), while Rea had three hits to lead the Bulldogs.