Power, pitching guide Gamecocks to series-evening win
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS BASEBALL
After being so close to pulling off a late inning win in SEC play the last few weeks, South Carolina got it Saturday.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a lead early and, unlike Thursday night, were able to hold on behind shutdown pitching in a 3-2 win over Texas A&M in seven innings.
It now sets up a massive rubber match Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. as part of a doubleheader.
After South Carolina went up three runs in the first, Texas A&M got two of those runs back the next inning with a leadoff homer from Logan Foster and a two-out bloop single from Hunter Watson to left field that plated another run of starter TJ Shook.
Those were the only two runs Shook (3-1, 3.35 ERA) gave up over his four-inning outing, scattering three hits and walking two.
He struck out three batters as well, his fifth straight start with more strikeouts than walks.
Once he left the game, it was all Brett Kerry, who picked up his fifth save of the year, dominating over three scoreless innings.
He'd allow just one hit and struck out four over his outing, allowing just three base runners. Of his 51 pitches, 35 went for strikes. He'd pitch around some trouble in the seventh after a fielding error let Bryce Blaum reach with two outs but struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Ducoff to end the game.
The Gamecocks (23-16, 5-12 SEC) got off to a quick start with Luke Berryhill, after Noah Campbell and George Callil both got hit, launching a one-out, three-run shot to the Gamecocks' bullpen in centerfield.
They'd pick up just two hits in game one of the double header, one being Berryhill's blast but put pressure on A&M all day without much to show for it.
Allen got the team's only other hit, a one-out single in the fourth, but couldn't get past second in the inning.
After the first inning, they'd put a runner on base in four straight innings, including multiple runners on in two of those, but couldn't scratch anyone else across, leaving five total base runners on in game one.
It didn't matter, though, with Berryhill's blast enough behind the team's solid pitching.
Player of the game: Luke Berryhill had one hit in his only official at-bat, driving in all of the Gamecocks' three runs with a home run to right. He finished 1-for-1 with two walks.
Key moment: After a runner reached in the fifth inning on a two-out fielding error, Kerry got potential first-round pick Braden Shewmake to fly out to right and end the threat.
Up next: The series rubber match and second game of the doubleheader will be at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network. Cam Tringali (2-0, 2.81 ERA) is scheduled to start.