Columbia, S.C. – Consecutive sacrifice flies by Graham Saiko and Chase Vergason helped lift 12th ranked South Carolina to a 4-3 win over Presbyterian on Tuesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 38-14 on the year and the loss drops the Blue Hose to 24-29.
Patrick Sullivan earned the win for South Carolina and is now 2-0 on the year. Sullivan hurled 1.2 innings of relief giving up one run on one hit and striking out three. Tyler Webb earned his 15th save of the season and made his 102nd appearances of his career, which ties a school record set by Matt Price. Webb pitched one scoreless inning of relief and struck out two batters. Tim Corbin suffers the lost for Presbyterian and falls to 2-4 on the year. Corbin hurled seven innings giving up four runs on nine hits, with five walks and one strikeout.
South Carolina was quick to get the bats going tallying three hits in the bottom of the first and pushing across two runs to take an early lead. Saiko opened the frame with a single and came home when Vergason doubled down the right field line. A walk to Joey Pankake and a single by Max Schrock loaded the bases for Grayson Greiner, who grounded into a double play that allowed Vergason to score and gave the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Presbyterian scored a run in the top of the second to cut South Carolina's lead in half. Three consecutive one-out singles loaded the bases for Jacob Midkiff who drove in Brandon Paul with an infield single. The Blue Hose still had the bases loaded but Forrest Koumas was able to end the threat by turning a double play when Ryan Hagan's squeeze bunt attempt popped up.
Presbyterian tied the game at 2-2 after scratching across a run in the top of the seventh. Cam McRae reached base on an error to lead off the inning. After Midkiff sacrificed McRae to second, he further advanced to third on a single by Ryan Hagan and would score the tying run on Jay Lizanich's RBI groundout.
The Gamecocks responded with two runs and reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Sean Sullivan drew a leadoff walk, Tanner English followed with a bunt for a base hit, and Dante Rosenberg reached base on a fielder's choice with a sacrifice bunt when the Blue Hose attempted to get Sullivan out at third. With the bases loaded a pair of sacrifice flies off the bats of Saiko and Vergason drove in Sullivan and English respectively and gave the Garnet and Black and 4-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Presbyterian cut South Carolina's lead to 4-3. Nathan Chong led of the inning with a double and would score on Hagan's two-out RBI single to center.
South Carolina starter Forrest Koumas pitched three innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out one batter. Evan Beal pitched two scoreless innings of relief allowing no hits and walking one batter while Joel Seddon contributed 1.1 innings allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout.
The Gamecocks belted out nine hits including two from both Rosenberg and Schrock. Vergason had the team's only extra base hit of the night, a pair of RBI and a scored a run. Saiko contributed a hit, drove in a run, and scored a run as well.
South Carolina is back on the road for a three-game SEC series with Mississippi State in the final weekend of the regular season. First pitch for the opener on Thursday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Friday's contest is also scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday will begin at 3 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game."