The fourth weekend of the college baseball season continued Saturday afternoon as South Carolina squared off with Michigan State of the Big Ten in the second of a 3-game series at Founders Park. How did the Gamecocks fare?
FINAL: South Carolina 5, Michigan State 2
MSU (9-4): 010 000 010 = 2-5-1
USC (11-5): 200 003 00x = 5-9-2
WP – Wil Crowe (3-0)
LP – Ethan Landon (0-1)
SV – Josh Reagan
HR – MSU, Alex Troop (2nd,none on)
RBI – Alex Destino (2), LT Tolbert (2), Matt Williams (1)
LOB – USC 11, MSU 6
A – 7,140 (Announced)
Time – 2:55
Gamecock Pitchers: Wil Crowe (6.2 IP, 104 pitches), Josh Reagan (2.1, 28 pitches)
-- Because of an error by Jonah Bride on the first play of the game, Gamecocks starter Wil Crowe was required to work out of the stretch early. But he escaped the jam with a groundout, caught stealing (2-5) and strikeout.
-- The Gamecocks got some clutch hitting from Alex Destino in the bottom of the first after Jacob Olson (walk) and Matt Williams (single to extend on-base streak to 14 games) moved into scoring position with two outs. Destino plated both runners with a sharp single to center, raising his RBI total to a team-leading 14 on the season.
-- Michigan State got one run back in the top the second when DH Alex Troop, Friday night’s starting pitcher, launched a solo homer over the right field wall to slice USC’s lead to 2-1.
-- The Gamecocks put two baserunners on in the bottom of the second as a result of consecutive walks, but a popup and groundout ended the threat.
-- Crowe set down seven straight MSU batters with the ball leaving the infield just once before walking two of the first three MSU batters in the top of the fifth. But he wiggled out of the jam with a flyout and strikeout.
-- The hot-hitting Matt Williams (.390 BA coming into the game) powered a pitch over the right field fence for a solo homer leading off the bottom of the fifth. It was his first homer of the season and second hit of the day.
-- But the Gamecocks were far from done in the inning. Back-to-back walks and a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Brice put two runners into scoring position for Tolbert, who faced a drawn in Spartans infield. Tolbert rifled a hard hit ball past the diving MSU first baseman for a 2-run double, pushing USC’s lead to 5-1.
-- Crowe matched his season high of nine strikeouts for the second out in the top of the seventh. Moments later, after eclipsing the 100-pitch mark, Crowe allowed a double to left-center. He was quickly lifted in favor of Josh Reagan. His 6.2 inning stint was the longest of the season. His pitching line: 6.2 IP, 3H, 1R, 3BB, 9K.
-- Reagan got the final out in the top of the seventh before allowing a run on a RBI groundout in the top of the eighth. In the ninth, he allowed a one-out bloop single, but fanned the final batter for the save.
HOW THE RUNS SCORED
USC 1st – Olson walked, Williams singled (Olson to 3B on E8), Williams advanced to second on wild pitch, Destino singled to center (2 RBI). TWO RUNS (USC 2-0).
MSU 2nd – Troop homered to right (RBI). ONE RUN USC 2-1)
USC 5th – Williams homered to right (RBI), Cullen walked, Destino walked, Brice sacrificed (1-3), Tolbert doubled over first base (2 RBI). THREE RUNS (USC 5-1).
MSU 8th – Bechina RBI groundout to second (USC 5-2)