Baseball Advances At SEC Tournament With 7-4 Win Vs. Vanderbilt|
May 23, 2017
HOOVER, Ala. -- A two-out walk to Riley Hogan with the bases loaded followed by a two-run double from Alex Destino helped lift South Carolina to a 7-4 win over Vanderbilt in 11 innings on Tuesday in an elimination game at the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament. Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson pitched a season-high 4.1 scoreless innings of relief and struck out a season-high eight to earn the win. The Gamecocks are now 33-23 with Vanderbilt 33-22-1 on the year.
Johnson allowed just one hit and one walk in his longest outing of the season. He is now 1-2 on the year. Vanderbilt reliever Reed Hayes suffered the loss and is now 0-2 for the season. He allowed three runs on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
Tied at 4-4 entering the top of the 11th, the Gamecocks put a runner on base to open the frame with a leadoff walk to Jacob Olson. With two outs and Olson on first base, Carolina went with the hit and run and Justin Row belted a double to left field to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners in scoring position. With first base open, the Commodores elected to intentionally walk Carlos Cortes loading the bases for Hogan. The freshman first baseman worked the count full and drew a walk to score Olson and give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. Destino then gave the Gamecocks some insurance as he belted a double off the wall in right field to score Row and Cortes. With a three-run lead, Johnson pitched a perfect bottom half of the 11th to seal the win.
South Carolina out-hit Vanderbilt 7-5 with Justin Row leading the way with a 2-for-4 day at the plate and a career-high three runs scored. Both Cortes and Destino drove in two runs.
Cortes put the Gamecocks ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning with a two-run homer. After Justin Row reached base with one out on third baseman Will Toffey's throwing error, Cortes launched his team-leading 10th homer of the season over the right field wall. Jonah Bride increased that lead to 3-0 with a homer to left field to open the second inning, his fourth of the season.
Three walks and a double for Vanderbilt would tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the second inning. Reed Hays led off the frame with a walk and JJ Bleday and Connor Kaiser both drew two-out walks to load the bases. That set the stage for Will Toffey, who knocked the first pitch he saw for a double off the wall in right-center to clear the bases. Carolina answered in the top of the third to regain the lead in the 4th inning with Justin Row belting a solo homer to left-center, his second homer of the year.
South Carolina left-hander Josh Reagan was effective in relief in 3.1 innings of work. He retired nine batters in a row before a solo homer by Connor Kaiser with one out in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 4-4.
South Carolina tied a single-game high with three homers. The Gamecocks are the first team to hit three homers in a SEC Tournament game since Vanderbilt on May 23, 2015.
Carolina now has 53 homers on the year. That is a new single-season high in the BBCOR era (2011-present), besting the previous mark of 52 set in 2013.
Row tied a single-game high by a Gamecock player this year with his career-high three runs scored. It is the fifth time this season that a Gamecock has scored three runs in a game.
All nine Gamecock starters reached base at least once with six recording at least one hit.
Tuesday's win was the first SEC Tournament victory for the Gamecocks since a 5-3 win vs. Auburn at the 2012 SEC Tournament. It is also South Carolina's first extra inning win at the tournament since a 9-5 11-inning win vs. Alabama in the 2009 SEC Tournament.
QUOTABLE FROM HEAD COACH Chad Holbrook
On Riley Hogan's at bat