NASHVILLE, Tenn. (USC SID) – For the second time in the series, the University of South Carolina baseball team clawed back from a multi-run deficit, scoring seven runs in the final three innings to earn a 10-9 win over No. 17 Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon (April 29) at Hawkins Field. The Gamecocks earned their second straight conference series win, the first on the road this season.
South Carolina had 13 hits on the day as Hunter Taylor, TJ Hopkins, Jonah Bride, Justin Row and Madison Stokes had two hits apiece. Bride joined Carlos Cortes with three RBI while Cortes and LT Tolbert scored a pair of runs.
The Commodores scored four runs in the bottom of the second on just two hits but the Gamecocks put up a pair in the third as Bride homered to left, a two-run shot, to cut the Vandy lead in half. It was Bride’s third home run of the season. Vandy made it 5-2 in the fourth as Harrison Ray doubled in Alonzo Jones with two out in the frame.
Stokes belted his eighth home run of the year in the sixth to make it 5-3. Vandy then scored in the bottom of the sixth on a Julian Infante RBI triple.
The Gamecocks tied the game in the top of the seventh. Hopkins singled with one out and moved to second on Cortes’ walk. A walk to Tolbert loaded the bases. Bride scored a run on a sacrifice fly and Row singled to right to bring in Cortes. Stokes’ double down the right field line tied the game at six. Vandy came right back and put up three runs in the seventh, highlighted by Ray’s two-run double.
Carolina bounced back and tied the game again in the eighth as Noah Campbell walked, Taylor singled and both runners trotted home on Cortes’ 12th home run of the year. South Carolina took its only lead of the game in the top of the ninth. Jacob Olson was hit by a pitch to open the frame. He stole second and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Vandy’s Chandler Day. Taylor brought in Olson with a sacrifice fly to center.
Graham Lawson earned the win on the mound, pitching two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He came in and got the Gamecocks out of a jam in the eighth. With runners on first and second, Lawson got a flyout and then struck out the next two batters. Lawson then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the win.
Eddy Demurias pitched four innings of relief for Carolina, striking out a pair while allowing three runs. Cody Morris went two innings in his start, allowing just two hits with four runs.
Carolina tied the game for the first time in the top of the seventh with RBI’s from Bride, Row and Stokes.
Graham Lawson retired six Commodores in a row in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his first win on the mound this season.
Carolina wins a road series in the SEC for the first time since the Gamecocks swept Tennessee on March 17-19, 2017.
Carolina had 13 hits on the day and 32 in the three-game series.
Carlos Cortes has matched his freshman season total of 12 home runs with his eighth inning blast.
Jonah Bride has reached base in 41 of Carolina’s 44 games this season. Bride was 2-for-3 in today’s game with a two-run home run.
Carolina now has 57 home runs on the season, 23 of those in conference play. Cortes now has seven home runs in SEC play.
The Gamecocks will take the midweek off for final exams and return to action Friday, May 4 against Ole Miss. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.