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South Carolina Bounces Back With Another Top 5 Upset Series Win

By: Sinderella

I want to start off by saying: What. A. Series.

That was one of the best and most emotional rollercoaster of a series I have ever seen in my time watching South Carolina baseball. The one thing about this team that I love is that no matter the situation, they battle to the very last out. They always believe they can win any and every game. No matter what you think of them, that is what makes this team move. The team chemistry is off the charts, and they are always in it. On the flip side, they love to make it interesting for the fans by always keeping games close in a good way or not. It gets stressful but keeps it very fun.

Do we want to discuss all of Game 1? Alright, let me skip to the good parts with a quick review. It was a pitcher's duel between Trey Pooser for Kentucky and Roman Kimball/Ty Good for South Carolina. All three pitchers were electric, especially Ty Good, who had his best outing of the season. He looked like he was not only one of the best pitchers in the SEC, but in the country that night. We went into the 9th tied 1-1. Kentucky did what they do and small ball 3 runs in to go up 4-1. The morale was low for a lot of fans, but Mark Kingston made the right moves and used 3 solo home-runs (Jackson, Reeves, and Casas), with two of them being from pitch hits, to tie the game 4-4. Kentucky did their small ball thing and brought in a run in the top of the 10th. South Carolina gets a quick strikeout. Kennedy Jones then works a much needed walk. Two pitches later, Blake Jackson used every inch of the left field fence to sneak a 2-run walk-off home-run to secure Game 1 by a 6-5 score. Those last two innings will live in my memories forever.

Game 2 started off hot with Kentucky's starting pitcher Dominic Niman hitting Blake Jackson on what seemed like a questionable pitch, especially after Blake Jackson's performance the game before. That seemed to light a fuse in the Gamecocks as they would go on and put 6 runs on the board in the 1st inning. By the time the 6th inning would come around, Kentucky would take the lead with help from back-to-back 5 run innings to go up 12-6. It looked like the game was over, but then, as usual, the Gamecocks fought back. They would end up losing the game 15-13, barely missing out on a few opportunities to retake the lead, including the last out that was a few feet of being another walk-off.

Game 3 was, very simply put, all Gamecocks, as they would win the series with a 10-0 run-rule 7 inning game. Dylan Eskew was fantastic. Kennedy Jones capped off an incredible series for him with a huge Game 3. This was one of the few times where South Carolina took a lead and held onto it without any added drama. This Gamecock team is looking to change their identity, and it looked great in their first test versus a very unique team. South Carolina ends up going 7-5 in their 4-week April gauntlet versus some of the top teams in the country. You have to love that going into the last 3 weekends with 2 series you should win and then end it with another huge top 5 opponent. The Gamecocks are in a great spot to be a regional host as long as they do what they are supposed to do for the next 3 weeks, and I think they do.

(All pictures courtesy of @GamecockBll)

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