Analysis: South Carolina Baseball Ends Losing Streak Wins Series Against Top
The South Carolina baseball team recovered from four consecutive defeats in the past week to win a three-game series against No. 1 Texas over the weekend at Founders Park.
An all-around offensive display and important pitching performances helped the Gamecocks earn two victories on Sunday after dropping the first game of the series.
The Gamecocks got off to a fiery start offensively, scoring three runs in the first inning but were unable to stay consistent throughout the game.
Fifth-year senior outfielder Brandt Belk was the bright spot of the offense. Belk went 4-5 at the plate with a home run, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
“Today I kind of got some luck going my way and swings starting to feel great,” Belk said. “We’re starting to come together as an offense as a whole, and that’s really exciting for us going down the stretch.”
“He gave us everything he had,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “The issue we’re running into right now is we’re having to ask guys to throw one more inning than we should and they’re capable of throwing right now.”
Hall was a surprise start over sophomore pitcher Will Sanders who is coming off a career-high 14 strikeout game against Clemson. Kingston explained the decision after the game.
Ultimately, the struggle to close out innings with runners on base sealed South Carolina’s fate as Texas scored five runs on six hits in two-out situations.
East Carolina Chases Pete Hansen Before Loudly Greeting Zane Morehouse
Texas coach David Pierce went to his bullpen before the start of the fifth inning. In his shortest start since a designated start last March against Sam Houston State, Pete Hansen allowed seven hits and six runs.
East Carolina quickly introduced itself to UT reliever Zane Morehouse. On the first pitch thrown by the third-year right-hander, East Carolina slugger Bryson Worrell hit his 19th home run of the season.
Although Worrell’s homer gave ECU a 7-2 lead, the biggest highlights in the fifth inning were recorded on defense. With one out in the inning’s top half, Zach Agnos made a diving play at the shortstop position to rob Douglas Hodo III of a single. Texas ended the inning when right fielder Murphy Stehly caught a foul ball while tumbling over a fence and into the UT bullpen.
East Carolina Quickly Responds To Ut’s First
East Carolina countered Stehly’s home runs by leading off the first inning with a walk, a bunt single and a base hit to right field. Texas assistant coach Sean Allen visited Pete Hansen on the mound, but the Pirates soon thereafter unloaded the bases on a run-scoring passed ball and Jacob Jenkins-Cowart’s two-run single.
East Carolina eventually stranded Jenkins-Cowart on second base but still exited the first inning with a 3-2 lead.
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Power Returns To The Texas Lineup As East Carolina Turns To Its Bullpen
No-hit since the first inning, Texas displayed an offensive pulse in the sixth frame. Ivan Melendez crushed a leadoff home run before Murphy Stehly followed that moonshot with his second homer of the day.
The home run by Melendez was the 31st of his season. That matches the number posted by San Diego’s Kris Bryant during the 2013 season. No Division I player has hit more homers during the BBCOR bat era.
After Stehly’s home run, East Carolina called Trey Yesavage out of the bullpen. Yesavage could only retire two of the three pitchers he faced, so a second pitching change was made. Carter Spivey, the American Athletic Conference’s pitcher of the year, immediately got the Pirates out of the game with a double-play groundout.
Texas Claws Within Two Runs But A Double Play Limits The Damage
Ahead of the seventh-inning stretch at Clark-LeClair Stadium, Texas chipped away at the Pirate lead. Douglas Hodo III hit an opposite-field home run to pull UT within 7-5.
After pinch-hitter Eric Kennedy singled and Ivan Melendez walked with one out, East Carolina star Carter Spivey got Murphy Stehly to ground into a double play to escape the jam. Stehly had homered twice against ECU pitching on Friday.
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Murphy Stehly’s Homer Gives Texas An Early Lead
After Texas led off the game with a double by Douglas Hodo III, East Carolina pitcher C.J. Mayhue bounced back with strikeouts of Dylan Campbell and Ivan Melendez. He couldn’t get out of the inning unscathed as Murphy Stehly then hammered a 2-0 pitch into “The Jungle” beyond the left field fence.
Stehly’s 18 home runs this season are tied with Scott Bryant for seventh place in the UT record books. Bryant hit 18 HRs during the 1989 season.
With two outs in the inning, UT senior Austin Todd also singled and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. That is the third-best hitting streak by a Longhorn this season and the 11th-best run in the program’s history.
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South Carolina Vs Texas Game 2 Recap: Gamecocks Beat Longhorns 4
Our long national nightmare is over
South Carolina finally got back in the win column with a 4-2 victory over No. 1 Texas in the first game of Sundays doubleheader, marking the Gamecocks first win over the Longhorns in program history.
UT got on the board first, going up 1-0 on a solo shot by Eric Kennedy in the first inning. USC responded by scoring a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Brandt Belk doubled to lead off, Michael Braswell and Braylen Wimmer both singled, and Andrew Eyster hit into a fielders choice that got Belk home to make it a 1-1 game.
Each team scored their final run of the game in the fifth. The Longhorns came on a bases loaded walk, making the score 3-2, while Carolina got theirs after Belk singled with one out and scored on a two-out base hit by Wimmer.
South Carolina starter Will Sanders had a great outing, pitching six innings and allowing just four hits and two runs. He also walked three batters and struck six out. Sanders got the win and is now 3-0, while Braswell, who pitched one inning, got the save, his third. Texas starter Tristan Stevens took the loss and is now 3-1. Wimmer led the Gamecocks at the plate with three hits, while he, Eyster, Madden, and Hornung each recorded an RBI. Douglas Hodo III led the Longhorns at the plate with two hits, while Kennedy and Silas Ardoin each tallied an RBI.
What’s Being Asked Of South Carolina Pitchers
Kingston deviated from Friday night starter Will Sanders and elected to start Noah Hall against the Longhorn Saturday after the weather pushed the game back a day.
The junior, earning his second start on the season, went 4.2 innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts. The caveat there is Texas pelted Hall for three runs in the fifth, deeper in the game than Hall would’ve normally pitched.
There’s where that “yet” comes from Kingston’s statement above. Injuries to Julian Bosnic, James Hicks and Jack Mahoney not available to pitch, it’s put a strain on the staff and has forced Kingston and pitching coach Parker White to get creative in how they handle in-game decisions.
“We have to use our resources and fill innings right now. gave us everything he had. The issue we’re running into right now is we’re having to ask guys to throw one more inning than they should, that they’re capable of throwing,” Kingston said.
” Aidan Hunter throws up two 0’s and we tried to sneak one more inning out of him and it caught up to him. At some point, we won’t have to do that and that’s when we’re really going to be able to take off in my opinion.”
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A Look At South Carolina’s Season So Far
The Gamecocks come into the series against Texas sporting a 7-5 record and riding a four-game losing streak. They were swept by rival Clemson in a three-game set before dropping a midweek contest against Xavier. South Carolina will look to bounce back strong this weekend against the Longhorns.
Team Avg.: .282
Leading Off: Carolina Vs Texas
The South Carolina baseball team is looking to snap a four-game losing streak, but will have to do so against the best team in the country. Texas comes to town as the top-ranked team in the polls, but have lost two of their last three games, including one to UCLA and another to Texas State.
The Longhorns received some unfortunate news this week as their Friday starting pitcher is down for the year with a torn UCL. The Gamecocks didnt get any good news for this week in terms of returning pitchers, but has started to throw again and is working his way back.
Heres what you need to know about the South Carolina and Texas series this weekend.
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Texas Wins The Series If
Their bats continue to click and put up runs in clutch spots. The Longhorn offense has started off hot in 2022, putting up five or more runs in 10 out of the 14 games they’ve played this season. Ivan Melendez has led the way for the Texas offense, as he leads the Longhorns in both home runs and RBI with four and 20, respectively. Elsewhere in the lineup, Trey Faltine and Silas Ardoin have helped Melendez carry the offense as the two have combined for four home runs and 23 RBI. If the Longhorns stay hot on offense they should have no problem taking advantage of South Carolina’s pitching woes.
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David Pierce And Texas Baseball Will Have To Wait One More Day To Begin Weekend Series Vs South Carolina
Hansen has only allowed one earned run in three starts and 17 innings pitched so far this season. That one run he allowed came in an impressive win for the Longhorns last weekend in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic over the Tennessee Volunteers.
Moreover, this weekend series against South Carolina will be the first of what makes up a five-game road stretch for Texas in that state. Texas will also have road games in the state of South Carolina through March 16 against The Citadel and College of Charleston. Those road games against The Citadel and College of Charleston are just one-game midweek series.
This is an important road stretch for Pierce and the Longhorns following their challenging two-game midweek series against the Texas State Bobcats. Texas split the midweek series with Texas State. But the Longhorns are still looking to avoid stretching a losing streak to two games for the first time this season when they face South Carolina on the road this weekend.
South Carolina has struggled at times this season. They come into this weekend series against the Longhorns sporting a record of 7-5 and currently sit on a four-game losing streak dating back to a series sweep at the hands of the Clemson Tigers earlier in the week.
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South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball
|South Carolina Gamecocks|
|1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|NCAA regional champions|
|1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2016|
The South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team represents the University of South Carolina in NCAA Division Icollege baseball. South Carolina has perennially been one of the best teams in college baseball since 1970, posting 33 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 College World Series berths, 6 CWS Finals appearances and 2 National Championships: 2010 and 2011. Carolina is one of six schools in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles. Since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992, the team has competed in the Eastern division. South Carolina owns a stellar 32-20 record at the CWS, holds the NCAA record for consecutive wins in the national tournament and the longest win streak ever at the CWS in which the Gamecocks played for national titles all three years.
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Texas And East Carolina Sail Through A Scoreless Second Session
After combining for six hits and five runs in the first inning, Texas and East Carolina had their offenses muted in the second session. The Longhorns led off their half of the second inning with a walk, but a pop-up and two strikeouts ended that threat. Texas shortstop Trey Faltine fielded three outs in the bottom of the second inning as East Carolina was retired in order.
Pitchers Cj Mayhue And Pete Hansen Settling In At Clark
Through three innings, East Carolina pitcher C.J. Mayhue has registered six strikeouts. Two of those were swinging strikeouts by Ivan Melendez, who has a Division I-leading 30 homers and 90 RBIs this season. Before this game, Melendez had struck out only 44 times in 228 at-bats.
A nice defensive play in left field by Dylan Campbell was the lone highlight in the bottom of the third inning. Texas starter Pete Hansen has retired the last nine batters he has faced.
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Texas’ Vs South Carolina Postponed Game 1 Moved
- Publish date: Mar 11, 2022 12:57 PM EST
Coming off a midweek series split against Texas State, the Longhorns will travel to Columbia, S.C. for a three-game series against the South Carolina Gamecocks. This will be Texas’ fourth SEC opponent early in the season, as they are currently 5-0 against the conference with a sweep of Alabama and wins over Tennessee and LSU.
Look no further than here for everything you need to know about this weekend, from how to watch to a breakdown of South Carolina.
South Carolina Baseball Losing Streak Reaches Five Games
The Gamecocks have now lost five straight games. It’s been a rough stretch, getting swept rival Clemson before dropping a midweek game to a then two-win Xavier club.
It marks the second time in as many seasons that USC has had a losing streak of at least five games. South Carolina dropped six straight early around this time last season, which including a sweep out in Austin.
Cory Diaz covers the South Carolina Gamecocks for The Greenville News as part of the USA Today Network. Follow his work for all things Gamecocks on Twitter: @CoryDiaz_TGN
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How South Carolina Fell To Longhorns
South Carolina took the lead early with an strong offense that’s been missing for several games.
Leadoff Brandt Belk opened with a double before Braylen Wimmer brought him in. Wimmer later scored on a wild pitch from Texas starter Pete Hansen, who came into the weekend nearly unhittable. South Carolina had six hits off Hansen by the third.
“He had given up one earned run all year,” South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston said. “And we got five off of him today. He’s really good but I thought we did about as good as you can ask against a guy that caliber.”
But after that first frame, where the Gamecocks plated three runs of four hits, they managed seven hits over the next eight innings. USC hit Hansen more than other other team in his four starts so far in 2022 the lefty hadn’t given up more than five hits in a game
Despite not sustaining the level of offense, USC still had chances to cut into or even reclaim the lead later in the game. Star senior rightfielder Andrew Eyster dug in with two runners on in the seventh, but Horns reliever Travis Sthele caught him looking to end the threats and strand the runners.
USC were also caught stealing twice that ended two separate frames and cut any shot of having runners in scoring position off.
“We played well,” South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston said. “We hit the ball well. We played well, just not well enough yet.”