South Carolina scored seven runs in the fifth inning; Max Bartlett and Jordan Rodgers each had two hits in the loss
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 7 South Carolina scored seven runs in the fifth inning in a 10-2 win over No. 24 Tennessee on Sunday and the Gamecocks completed a series sweep at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Volunteers (12-5, 0-3 SEC) dropped their third straight to the Gamecocks (14-5, 3-0 SEC) and remain winless to begin league play. UT will look to rebound when it hosts Marshall on March 22.
Tennessee senior shortstop Max Bartlett went 2-for-3 with one walk and senior third baseman Jordan Rodgers went 2-for-4.
Will Neely (1-1) started the game for the Volunteers, striking out four batters through 4.0 innings while yielding three earned runs. Neely left the game in the fifth after he was struck on the right forearm by a hard line drive hit by Danny Blair.
South Carolina starter Cody Morris went 3.2 innings, allowing one run and recording four strikeouts. Reliever Colby Lee (1-0) earned the win for the Gamecocks, pitching the final 4.0 scoreless innings and striking out five batters.
South Carolina’s Madison Stokes got the scoring started in the top of the second, belting a two-run shot to left field for his third home run of the season to put the Gamecocks ahead, 2-0.
Tennessee answered in the bottom half of the inning as Bartlett knocked an RBI single through the left side to drive in Pete Derkay and cut the SC lead in half.
South Carolina’s bats exploded in the fifth, highlighted by RBI singles from Matt Williams and Jonah Bride, as well as a double down the first base line by Alex Destino that scored two more. LT Tolbert drilled a two-run single to right field and Hunter Taylor later brought him home with a single to center, punctuating an offensive outburst that expanded the SC lead to 9-1.
Tennessee freshman reliever Garrett Stallings retired two batters and recorded one strikeout during the inning, while giving up four runs. Andrew Schultz got the Vols out of the jam with a strikeout and finished after pitching 1.1 innings.
UT responded in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single through the left side by Andre Lipcius that scored Jay Charleston from second base.
Destino hit his fourth home run of the year over the right field fence in the eighth to increase the South Carolina lead to 10-2.
åConnor Darling had one strikeout while throwing a scoreless seventh frame for the Vols. Will Heflin, who started in right field, took the mound for the eighth inning and allowed Destino’s home run. Jacob Westphal was the sixth Vol pitcher to see action on Sunday and threw a scoreless ninth.
TENNESSEE QUICK HITS
- With the loss, Tennessee moves to a 36-61 all-time record vs. the Gamecocks and is now 12-5, 0-3 in SEC on the season.
- Tennessee’s 14 hits allowed to South Carolina mark just its sixth game this season to give up double digits hits in a game.
- South Carolina’s 10 runs scored in Sunday’s series finale are Tennessee’s most allowed since allowing 10 runs on 15 hits at Georgia on May 19, 2016.
- Jordan Rodgers extended his current streak of reaching base safely to 16 games, while Andre Lipcius has now reached base in each of his 17 games to begin his collegiate career.
- Jeff Moberg has now reached base safely in 10 straight games.
- Freshman Will Heflin made his first career start for Tennessee in right field on Sunday. Traditionally a pitcher, Heflin has also served as pinch-hitter for the Vols earlier this season.
- Brandon Chinea made his second career start for UT and first as designated hitter on Sunday. Previously, Chinea started third base on March 5 vs. Norfolk State.
- On Deck for the Vols: Tennessee hosts Marshall in midweek action, set for Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
- Sunday’s attendance at Lindsey Nelson Stadium: 1,818