Gamecock Baseball Clinches Series With 20-15 Win Over Alabama
May 2, 2010
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina pounded out a season-high 25 hits setting a Carolina Stadium record for hits in a game with Kyle Enders driving in a career-high five runs on five hits and Brady Thomas batting 3-for-3 with four RBI as well as the Gamecocks defeated Alabama 20-15 on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks are 34-9 and 16-5 in the SEC while the loss drops Alabama to 28-17 and 9-12 in conference play. Carolina has now won all seven SEC series this year and 10 in a row dating back to last season. The Gamecocks return to action on Wednesday hosting Winthrop at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina leads the SEC by one game over Florida after this weekend's series. Sunday's attendance was 8,006 for the afternoon. The three-game total attendance of 24,204 was the largest for a weekend series at Carolina Stadium. The previous high was 23,220 vs. Georgia from May 14-16, 2009.
Eight Gamecock players tallied multi-hit games on Sunday. Enders is the first Gamecock player this year to tally five hits in a game, a career-high for the senior catcher. He also hit his first home run of the season. Thomas' 3-for-3 day at the plate saw him tally his sixth home run of the year and second of the series. He also scored four runs on the afternoon. Whit Merrifield finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Adam Matthews was 2-for-3 with two RBI with Evan Marzilli also tallying two RBI with his first career home run. Jackie Bradley Jr. was 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored. Scott Wingo also had two hits as did Christian Walker, who scored three runs. The 25 hits ties for the fifth highest mark by a Gamecock team coached by Ray Tanner.
South Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. The inning started off with a leadoff single by Whit Merrifield. With a 0-1 count, Bradley stroked a shot to deep left center that cleared the fences. For Bradley it was his fifth home run of the season and his second of the series.
Alabama tied it at 2-2 in the top of the second inning. With one out, Jake Smith knocked a solo homer to left field and after Cal Tinsley's two-out double; Brock Bennett would drive a RBI single to right center tying the game up.
Carolina regained the lead in the bottom of the second with a single run. Kyle Enders was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Scott Wingo doubled with a line drive off the glove of first baseman Clay Jones to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Enders would score on a RBI infield single in between short and third off the bat of Merrifield giving Carolina a 3-2 edge.
Alabama struck back with three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-3 lead. Jon Kelton had a leadoff walk and Clay Jones singled with one to put a pair of runners on base. David Kindred connected with a RBI single to score Kelton. A pair of Gamecock miscues would lead to two more runs as Jake Smith reached base on a fielding error by Scott Wingo that scored Jones. With Smith on second and Kindred on third, the Tide then scored on a fielding error by third baseman Adrian Morales. Andrew Miller set down a suicide squeeze bunt. It didn't go far and Kindred was stuck in between home and third trying to score. Gamecock catcher Kyle Enders threw down to third but Morales couldn't handle the throw allowing Kindred to score and give the Crimson Tide a two-run advantage.
South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the third with one run to cut the deficit to 5-4. Morales reached base with a single off the glove of Alabama reliever Jonathan Smart and Adam Matthews also reached base with a single to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Enders drove in Morales with a RBI single to the gap in right center.
Alabama extended the lead to four runs in the fourth inning as Josh Rutledge connected on a two-out solo homer to center field, his sixth homer of the season and second of the series that gave Alabama a 6-4 lead. After a walk to Clay Jones, the Tide went ahead by four on a two-run homer by David Kindred that just cleared the wall in left field.
Trailing 8-4, the Gamecocks stormed back and batted around in the bottom of the fourth to score six runs and take a 10-8 lead. Wingo got things started with a double and was sacrifice to third on a bunt by Merrifield. He would score on Bradley's RBI single to right field, Bradley's third RBI of the game. Carolina would then put a pair of runners in scoring position as Christian Walker drilled a single down the left field line. In a pinch-hit role, Brady Thomas drilled his second homer of the series and his sixth of the season to tie the game at 8-8. It was the first pinch hit homer by a Gamecock since Nick Ebert on March 15, 2010 in a win over Brown. With reliever Taylor Wolfe into the game, the Gamecocks kept on hitting as Morales singled and scored on Adam Matthews double to the gap in left center. Enders then drilled a RBI base hit up the middle that scored Matthews and gave South Carolina a two-run lead.
Carolina followed up the six-run fourth inning with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 15-8 against the Crimson Tide. Merrifield opened up the frame with a single and stole both second and third base. He would then score on a passed ball. Walker drew a one-out walk and Thomas singled to put a pair of runners on base. Morales would drive home Walker with a RBI double that was followed up by a sacrifice fly by Matthews that scored Morales. The scoring for the inning ended on Kyle Enders' two-run homer to left field, his first homer of the season. Enders tied a career-high with four RBI on the home run.
Alabama crept to within four runs in the top of the seventh inning. A pair of walks to Cal Tinsley and Brock Bennett set the stage for Taylor Dugas, who launched a three-run homer to left field that cut Carolina's lead to 15-11. It was Dugas' first home run of the season.
South Carolina put two runs across in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff walk to Thomas, freshman Evan Marzilli stroked a two-run homer to right-center that gave Carolina a 17-11 lead. Alabama responded with a run in the top of the eighth as Smith hit a RBI single that scored Kindred.
South Carolina finished the day at the plate with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Thomas, Morales and Enders each recorded RBI singles. Alabama three in the top of the ninth with Rutledge driving in a run with a two-out single followed by a two-run homer from Clay Jones.
Gamecock reliever Tyler Webb earned the win after 1.2 innings of relief with three runs allowed on two hits. He struck out three and walked one. Webb is now 2-2 for the season. Alabama reliever Taylor Wolfe suffered the loss and is now 3-2 on the year. He allowed two runs on two hits and faced just two batters.
Alabama's 16 hit day saw Dugas, Jones, and Kindred all tally three hits. Rutledge, Smith, Tinsley and Bennett had two hits apiece as well for the Crimson Tide.