In a busy week filled with five games in six days, the Gamecocks hosted Kansas State of the Big 12 Thursday afternoon at Founders Park. John Parke was on the mound for USC in his first appearance since 2105. How did the Gamecocks fare?
FINAL: Kansas State 6, South Carolina 5
KSU (4-1) – 400 200 000 = 6-8-1
USC (3-2) – 002 120 000 = 5-9-1
WP – Jarod Marolf (1-0)
LP – John Parke (0-1)
SV – Jordan Floyd (1)
HR – USC, Alex Destino (Bottom of 3rd, 1 on); KSU, Jake Scudder (top of 4th, 1 on)
RBI – Alex Destino (2), Madison Stokes, LT Tolbert.
LOB – USC 11, KSU 8
A – 6,613 (Announced)
Time – 3:08
Gamecock Pitchers: John Parke (0.2, 30 pitches), Graham Lawson (3.0, 51 pitches) Reed Scott (5.1, 62 pitches).
-- In his first appearance on the mound at Founders Park since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015, lefthander John Parke from Greenville made his first career start for USC. However, he didn’t last long as Kansas State scored four times in the top of the first, taking advantage of walks to the first two KSU hitters with a RBI double, sacrifice fly, RBI single and bases loaded walk. Parke was lifted with two outs and the bases full.
-- Woodruff native Graham Lawson, a JUCO transfer from Spartanburg Methodist, made his Gamecock debut in relief of Parks and hurled 3.0 effective innings. His final batter singled down the RF line with two outs in the top of the fourth. Reed Scott replaced Lawson and promptly yielded a two-run homer that restored KSU’s 4-run lead at 6-2.
-- Alex Destino cut KSU’s in half in the bottom of the third when he followed a walk to Chris Cullen (batting 2nd today) with a towering two-run homer over the right field fence. It was his second homer of the year and gave him 8 RBI in five games.
-- After Kansas State regained the two-run lead in the top of the fourth, the Gamecocks got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Danny Blair came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, plating a run. That’s all the Gamecocks would get in the inning, though, as they let a golden opportunity to score multiple runs slip through their fingers.
-- Trailing 6-3, the Gamecocks cut the deficit to a single run in the bottom of the fifth when Jacob Olson started a two-out rally with a single. After Hogan was hit by a pitch, Stokes delivered a RBI double down the LF line. Moments later, Tolbert drive in another run with an infield single to the mound.
-- The Gamecocks mounted another two-out uprising in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on consecutive singles, wild pitch and walk. Bride flied to center to end the threat, though.
-- Matt Williams delivered a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth and Brandon McIlwain made his first appearance of the season as a pinch-runner. But the game ended on a FC 6-4 as the Gamecocks dropped their second in the last three games.
-- Senior relief pitcher Reed Scott was stellar, giving up just three hits and one run in 5.1 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Graham Lawson allowed two hits and one run in his 3.0 innings of work. So, the Gamecocks long relief was a positive in the game.
KSU 1st – Scudder doubled to left (RBI), Crandall hit sacrifice fly to right, Rolette singled to right (RBI), Ethier walked (RBI). FOUR RUNS.
USC 3rd – Destino homered to right field (2 RBI). TWO RUNS.
KSU 4th – Scudder homered to left (2 RBI). TWO RUNS
USC 4th – Blair grounded into 4-6-3 double play (No RBI). ONE RUN
USC 5th – Stokes doubled down the LF line (RBI), Tolbert singled to pitcher (RBI). ONE RUN