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South Carolina Drops First Game of the Season and Bounces Back in a Big Way

By: Sinderella

South Carolina wins the series versus Belmont 2-1. The loss came from game two when South Carolina lost 11-2, which is their first loss of the season. This series did not go the way that most people would expect it to, but sweeping a team, no matter the matchup, is a hard thing to do. All that matters is that you win the series. If South Carolina is as good as most think they are, then this loss will be lost in the minds of everyone when the NCAA Tournament time comes around. The impressive thing that you have to look at is how South Carolina bounced back after a bad loss. They did what this team has shown to do and that's pitch well, get lots of free bases, and use a few big hits to elevate them to a dominating win as they won game three 12-1.

Game 1:

Eli Jones came out and had another dominant start as he went 3 innings of no-hit baseball. Unfortunately, there was a rain delay and we never got to see how the rest of his outing would go. After the rain delay, South Carolina's bullpen would allow only one run as they went 6 innings of near flawless pitching. The offense continued to work long counts, get free bases, and drive in runners early in the game to quickly get to the opponents bullpen as they went up 6-0 after 3 innings. Parker Noland got his first home run as a Gamecock. Dylan Brewer continued to look like one of the most consistent players in the country with a 3-3 with 2 RBI day. Gavin Casas had his best game in the early season going 2-3 with 3 RBIs. They did not continue their 3-game streak of run-ruling their opponents, but it was still a dominant 8-1 win for the Gamecocks.

Game 2:

Dylan Eskew got his second consecutive Saturday start and looked just as dominant through 4 innings as Eli Jones did yesterday. Trouble started to come in the 5th as he gave up 4 earned runs in the 5th and 6th collectively before having his day ended. The bullpen didn't do much better as they would end up allowing 4 runs to come across over the final 5 innings. The defense for South Carolina had their worst game of the season committing 4 errors and 3 unearned runs to score.

The offense got hindered early by the insane wind conditions. As at least 3 balls were hit to the warning track that would have gone out on any other day. You get those 3 to go early in the game and who knows what would have happened after. That's still no excuse to end up losing 11-2 versus Belmont. They just were not the better team that day. Plain and simple. That's baseball and loses like this can and will happen whenever.

Game 3:

South Carolina looks to bounce back after their first loss of the season and they did so in a big way with Roman Kimball and the rest of the pitching staff dominating the rubber match. Roman went 4 innings with only allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run. That would be the last run the Belmont would score as Matthew Becker and Garrett Gainey came in and lock the Belmont lineup down. South Carolina did not have a problem with the wind in this game as Kennedy Jones hit a leadoff home run in his first start of the season. Cole Messina looks to have broken out of his slump with a two home run game with the second being a 2-run game-ender for the run rule to come into effect. South Carolina would cruise to a 12-1 win that would end in 7 innings to take the series.

Up Next:

South Carolina looks to take on Gardner-Webb on Tuesday before their big annual rivalry series versus a top 25 team, the Clemson Tigers.

All pictures courtesy of @GamecockBll

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