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April 19, 2014

Gamecocks drop fifth straight

AUBURN, Ala. -- In game one of today's doubleheader at Auburn, No. 11 USC fell 4-2 to extend its losing streak to five games. All four of Auburn's runs off of Jordan Montgomery came in the bottom of the first. Montgomery only allowed four hits in eight innings pitched but he goes to 5-3 on the season after today's loss.

Auburn's Dillon Ortman improves to 7-2 after pitching his second complete game of the season.

DC Arendas hit a one-out single in the top of the first but Ortman forced a double play to end the inning.

Auburn's big first inning started with a leadoff walk and a fielder's choice where both runners ended up being safe. Jordan Ebert then loaded up the bases for Auburn after a base hit bunt. Damek Tomscha hit a sacrifice RBI to bring in their first run. Then on the first pitch he saw, Blake Austin hit a 3-run home run over the left field Green Monster fence. Montgomery managed to get the next two outs to keep the damage at four runs.

After that first inning, Montgomery went on to only allow two more hits and no runs. But USC's offense struggled against Ortman for most of the game.

USC's first run came in the top of the third when Elliott Caldwell hit a sacrifice fly RBI to score Connor Bright and make it 4-1.

But the Gamecocks went down in order in both the top of the fourth and fifth innings.

Tanner English led off the sixth with a stand-up double, his eighth of the season. Caldwell then hit his second RBI of the game with a single that scored English. Ortman went on to get the next three outs to keep the score at 4-2.

Montgomery shut down the Tigers in order in the bottom of the sixth and Ortman followed by shutting down the Gamecocks in order in the top of the seventh.

Both pitchers kept their duel going by both pitching 1-2-3 eighth innings.

With USC's top of the order due up in the ninth, Arendas led off the inning with a single but Joey Pankake flew out to left. Kyle Martin then hit a one-out single but that was all the offense USC would manufacture as Ortman got the next two hitters out to clinch his complete-game win.

Auburn has lost three consecutive SEC series but will look to win the series with their ace Keegan Thompson on the mound in game two today at 5 p.m. EST. Jack Wynkoop is expected to start game two for USC as they look to snap their five-game losing streak.

South Carolina fell to 28-10, 8-8 in the SEC. Auburn improved to 22-17, 7-9.

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