Gamecocks suffer SEC-opening sweep to Georgia
COLUMBIA – Georgia scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to complete a three-game sweep of the University of South Carolina baseball team with a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon (March 17) at Founders Park.
TJ Shook earned the start for the Gamecocks and ran into trouble in the first as a pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. Shook settled down and got a pair of pop outs and a strike out to leave the bases loaded. He allowed just one hit in four-plus innings, striking out six.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Senior Chris Cullen singled to open the inning. He reached second as LJ Talley dropped a throw on an attempted fielder’s choice off the bat of Brady Allen. Carolina loaded the bases as Ian Jenkins walked. Georgia got a double play as Riley King caught George Callil’s fly out to right and got Cullen out at home, but Quinntin Perez singled to center to score Allen, giving Carolina a 1-0 lead.
Brett Kerry came in and did not allow a hit in the first four innings, striking out four, but ran into trouble in the ninth. Austin Meadows doubled to start the frame. He scored on John Cable’s single to right. Pinch runner Cole Tate moved up to second on Chaney Rogers’ sacrifice bunt. Sawyer Bridges came in for Kerry and allowed a three-run home run to Tucker Maxwell. Carolina scored a run in the bottom of the ninth as Jacob Olson hit his eighth home run of the season. Brady Allen walked with two out in the ninth, but a strikeout ended the game.
Tony Locey struck out 11 in a seven-inning start for Georgia. The win went to Zac Kristofak, who allowed two hits and a run with three strikeouts in two innings. Kerry was tagged with the loss, giving up three hits with three runs to go with four strikeouts in 4.1 innings of relief.
Tucker Maxwell’s 3-run home run in the ninth broke a 1-all tie, helping the Bulldogs to a series sweep.
Carolina struck out 14 times on Sunday, while Georgia had 10 punchouts.
- Carolina was swept by Georgia for the second straight season.
- It is the first time Carolina has been swept at home since Arkansas in 2013.
- Perez picked up his third multi-hit game of the season and first hit since Utah Valley on Feb. 23.
- Shook now has 20 strikeouts in his last 12 innings of work.
Carolina begins a four-game road trip starting this Tuesday (March 19) at Furman. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Fluor Field in Greenville.