COLUMBIA (USC SID) – The University of South Carolina baseball team and Texas A&M split the two games of Saturday’s doubleheader, with Carolina winning the first by a score of 3-2 and Texas A&M taking the rubber match game 6-3. Both games were hard fought, with just six total hits between the two teams in game one and intermittent rain showers throughout.
Carolina had just two hits through the first seven-inning contest, one of which was the deciding factor for the game. Strong wind gusts had the potential to play a factor with two home runs in the first two innings, but the pitchers for both squads looked extremely strong, keeping the bats at bay.
The Gamecocks scored all three of their runs in the first inning. Texas A&M starter Asa Lacy hit the first two Carolina batters before Luke Berryhill crushed a three-run home run into the Carolina bullpen making the score 3-0 in favor of South Carolina. Berryhill’s ninth homer of the season came on a 3-1 count.
Texas A&M got a pair of runs back in the top of the second. The leadoff batter in the inning, Logan Foster, hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot, into the Carolina bullpen, nearly in the exact same spot that Berryhill hit his. Zach DeLoach singled on the subsequent at-bat and Hunter Watson singled to bring him home from second base, with Carolina’s lead now 3-2 where it would remain for the rest of the game.
For South Carolina, RHP TJ Shook earned the win, giving up three hits and two runs while striking out three in four innings of work. Freshman RHP Brett Kerry looked stellar on the way to earning his fifth save of the season, allowing just one hit and striking out four in three innings of relief. For the Aggies, LHP Asa Lacy threw a complete game but suffered the loss. Lacy gave up just two hits and struck out six but allowed five walks and three runs.
In the second game, it was A&M who got on the board first. The Aggies pieced together four base hits in a row to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Zach DeLoach hit an RBI single with runners on second and third and then Braden Shewmake doubled with two runners on to drive in two more.
The Gamecocks began to claw back in the bottom half of the third with one run. Noah Campbell singled and then George Callil doubled to drive him in after A&M’s right fielder dove for the ball and missed, allowing Callil’s ball to roll to the fence.
Texas A&M answered, though, and continued the scoring in the fourth inning. Cam Blake led off the inning with a solo home run to right field, his first of the season.
Carolina would not go down without a fight, though. In the bottom of the sixth, the Gamecocks pieced together a rally to put two more runs on the board and cut the lead to 4-3. Jacob Olson walked and then was driven in on a Chris Cullen double. A subsequent walk and single loaded the bases for Noah Campbell, who drew a walk himself for his 14th RBI of the season.
The Aggies answered and added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Bryce Blaum hit his fifth home run of the season off of Kerry, a two-run shot to left field.
South Carolina starter Cam Tringali suffered the loss, giving up four runs in 4.1 innings pitched, while striking out five. For Texas A&M, reliever Joseph Menefee picked up the win and Kasey Kalich earned his 10th save of the season. Starting RHP Christian Roa gave up just one run, three hits, and struck out three in 3.2 innings of work.
Luke Berryhill’s three-run home run in the first gave the Gamecocks all the runs they would need in the game one win. Noah Campbell and George Callil each were hit by a pitch to start the first and Berryhill brought them in with the deep blast.
Carolina pitched struck out 16 in the two seven-inning games, including five from Cam Tringali.
Carolina falls in an SEC series for the sixth time this season.
Both games were seven innings after the rainout on Friday night.
Carolina is now 1-3 in doubleheaders this season. The Gamecocks lost both ends at Alabama on April 5.
The Gamecocks will be back in action this Tuesday night (April 23) from SRP Park in North Augusta, S.C. as they take on the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at 7 p.m.