Holbrook ejected, Gamecocks can't finish off Wright State
Just like last Sunday, Adam Hill pitched a gem yet walked off the field to the sight of his team trailing on the scoreboard. Hill gave up just three runs in his second outing, but the Gamecocks fell 5-1 to No. 25 Wright State.
The No. 4 Gamecocks had a chance early, getting two runners on base with one out, but a strikeout and a line out ended their chances.
Jonah Bride singled home LT Tolbert in the second inning. The lead was short-lived, however, as Matt Morrow golfed a two-run homer into right field the next inning, giving Wright State its first lead of the series.
Bride finished this weekend going 3-for-9 with two RBIs.
“In the end we fell short, so it’s tough," he said. "But I get some confidence going into this week.”
The fireworks started in the fifth inning with a two missed calls in the inning by the first base umpire that resulted in a run. Chad Holbrook would fight the call, sprinting to first red-faced and arguing with the officiating crew.
He was ejected in the inning.
He went to the clubhouse, leaving Adam Hill and the Gamecocks to work out of a bases loaded, one-out jam. The sophomore did, getting a pop up and a strikeout and leaving the field with a fist pump and a few words for catcher Hunter Taylor.
Hill picked up just his second loss in his career at South Carolina, his second straight to start the year.
"I've seen him have better stuff, but he kept us in the game," head coach Chad Holbrook said. "He made some good pitches. If you go into the middle innings and give up three or less runs then you give yourself a chance to win, and that's what he did."
It was much of the same for Hill, who pitched a one-hitter in seven innings last weekend but lost because of little run support. The sophomore pitched well, but the Gamecocks could only muster one run on eight hits.
The Gamecocks went without a hit for two straight innings and nine straight batters before a Danny Blair single in the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Gamecocks put a runner at second but couldn’t bring him home.
“I think we need to continue to get help with our approach," Bride said. "We’re using the middle of the field a lot and we need to use oppo with two strikes to cut down on our strikeouts a little bit more.”
Wright State would increase their lead on back-to-back RBI singles off reliever Reed Scott to make it 5-1 going to the ninth.
The Gamecocks tried to rally, putting two runners on with two outs, but Madison Stokes would strikeout to end the game.
They hit 3-for-16 with runners on base and 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position Sunday as they drop back-to-back series finales.
They’ll play Appalachian State Tuesday at 4 p.m. No starter has been named yet.
"We’ll look back probably in April or May and say that was a big series win because that's how much I think of their team," Holbrook said. "We got to continue to get better. We got to continue to improve in a number of areas, but the ceiling for our team is very high.”
Player of the Game
Jonah Bride: The junior third baseman went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the Gamecocks' only run of the game on a RBI single in the second inning. It was his second-straight game with an RBI.
The fifth inning: A pair of controversial calls from first base umpire John Puma helped Wright State plate a run and caused an irate Chad Holbrook to get ejected arguing the calls. The Gamecocks got out of a bases loaded jam, but couldn’t capitalize on any of the momentum, mustering just three hits after the fifth inning.