Gamecocks come back from seven-run deficit
Columbia, SC Feb. 17, 2013 – Fifth ranked South Carolina stormed back from seven runs down in the final two innings to rally for an 8-7 win over Liberty in the first game of a doubleheader at Carolina Stadium. Kyle Martin knocked a RBI single that went off of Liberty pitcher Josh Richardson and after an errant throw by catcher Trey Wimmer, the Gamecocks would score the winning run as Graham Saiko crossed over home plate with the winning run setting off the celebration. The final game of the doubleheader is set for 4:40 p.m.
Trailing 7-3 entering the ninth inning, the Gamecocks began the rally as TJ Costen walked, Dante Rosenberg singled and Tanner English walked to load the bases. A walk to Chase Vergason scored Costen and cut the deficit to three runs. After a second straight walk to Graham Saiko, the Gamecocks were within two runs with the bases loaded and no outs. Max Schrock would bring Carolina one run closer as a RBI groundout to the first baseman scored Tanner English. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Liberty would get the second out of the inning with a strikeout by reliever Josh Richardson. That set the scene for Martin. After working the count to 3-1, the Gamecock pinch hitter roped a line drive that caught Richardson on the leg on the mound. The ball rolled close to home plate. As Martin rushed down the line, Wimmer looked to make a play at first base. His throw wouldn’t make it though and his throw got away from first baseman Alex Close allowing both pinch runner Shon Carson and Saiko to score leading the Gamecocks to the victory.
South Carolina left-hander Adam Westmoreland earned the win after 2.1 innings of relief. He allowed two runs, both unearned on two hits. He struck out two batters. Richardson suffered the loss after 0.2 innings of relief. He allowed one run, unearned, on one hit with two walks and a strikeout.
The Flames broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Nick Paxton led off with a walk, Ryan Cordell singled and after both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Bryan Aanderud would also walk to load the bases for the Flames. Holmes would minimize the damage though as he coaxed Alex Close into a 4-6-3 double play that scored Paxton.
Liberty starting pitcher Brooks Roy was effective in five innings of work. He did not allow a run and limited the Gamecocks to one hit and three walks. South Carolina starter Colby Holmes allowed two runs on three hits in 6.1 innings of work.
Liberty capitalized on a couple of Gamecock mistakes with five of their six runs unearned in the seventh inning to increase the lead to 7-0. After a single and two walks loaded the bases with one out, Sammy Taormina drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Flames loaded the bases again after a pitch from Gamecock reliever Joel Seddon nicked Liberty batter Nick Lacik. With Adam Westmoreland on in relief, the Gamecocks looked to get out of the jam on a grounder by Nick Paxton. However, the ball would get by shortstop Joey Pankake to score another run for the Flames. Ryan Cordell then cleared the bases for the Flames as his double to left field scored three more runs.
The Gamecocks broke through on the scoreboard in the eighth inning with three runs off of Liberty reliever Matt Marsh. Tanner English led off with a single, Chase Vergason was hit by a pitch and Graham Saiko singled to load the bases with no outs. Max Schrock would drive in English with a RBI groundout, Joey Pankake tallied a RBI with a sacrifice fly to center to score Vergason and LB Dantzler would knock in Saiko with a RBI single.