April 27, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off with a 12-11 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium on Friday night. With the loss, the Tide falls to 17-27 overall and 6-14 in Southeastern Conference play. The Gamecocks improve to 32-11 overall and 13-7 in conference action.
After Alabama got an RBI single by James Tullidge in the top of the ninth inning to extend its lead to 11-9, South Carolina scored three times on four hits with one UA error in the bottom of the inning - all coming with one out - to pull out the come-from-behind victory.
After Jon Keller (1-4) struck out Evan Marzilli to open the inning, a one-out double by Christian Walker and a single by Grayson Greiner to cut the Tide lead to 11-10. TJ Costen doubled to the corner in left to put runners on second and third, then Keller intentionally walked LB Dantzler to load the bases.
UA closer Jake Hubbard’s first pitch to Sean Sullivan was a bloop single to left center, which fell between three Tide players, allowing Greiner to score. The ball was not handled cleanly but the Bama outfield, and Costen was waved in, and the throw home was not in time to prevent the winning run from scoring.
SC reliever Nolan Belcher did not even retire a batter, but picked up the win to improve to 3-2 on the season. Keller took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings.
Alabama matched its season-high with 14 hits in the game, as eight of the nine starters had at least one hit in the game. The 11-run performance marked the third time this season the Tide reached double-digits in runs.
Dugas and Tullidge led the Tide with three hits each, and Hunter Gregory and Josh Rosecrans added two hits each. Dugas was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, Tullidge was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Gregory was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, and Austen Smith was 1-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
After being shutout, 1-0, in the opening game of the series, Alabama wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in game two, scoring four times on four hits in the opening frame. A single by Smith drove in two, a Rosecrans double plated Ben Moore, and a ground out by Brett Booth allowed Rosecrans to score the fourth run of the inning.
After South Carolina got a two-run home run by Christian in the bottom of the first, Alabama answered with three straight hits to start the second to score two runs. After Tullidge singled and Dugas doubled, Gregory followed with a single up the middle to score both runners, extending the Tide lead to 6-2.
The Gamecocks answered with two runs in the second, the first coming on a 400-foot shot to left center by Adam Matthews to open the inning. Tanner English followed with a triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Vergason. UA got a run back in the top of the third thanks to singles by Booth and Tullidge and a South Carolina fielding error.
SC cut the Bama lead to 7-5 with a run in the third, before scoring four times in the fourth to take a 9-7 lead. The big blow came on a three-run, two-out home run by Greiner. The Tide got a run back in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Kenny Roberts, then took a 10-9 lead in the sixth when Moore singled to center field to drive in Dugas and Gregory.
Alabama starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau lasted just 2.0 innings, allowing five runs (all earned) on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Trey Pilkington gave Bama 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits. South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery allowed 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits in 5.0 innings. Reliever Evan Beal gave up one run on three hits in 3.2 innings.
Alabama and South Carolina complete the series on Saturday with first pitch at 12:30 p.m. CT from Carolina Stadium. The Tide will throw freshman left hander Justin Kamplain (1-3, 3.58). The Gamecocks have not announced a starter after Colby Holmes was injured in Wednesday’s practice.
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