Eighth-ranked South Carolina used three home runs to post a 5-1 series-clinching win over No. 23 Georgia Sunday at Foley Field.
The Gamecocks (19-7, 6-3 SEC) got eight innings from freshman right-hander Will Sanders (5-1) and won their first series over the Bulldogs since 2013. Georgia dropped to 18-9 overall, 3-6 in the SEC.
USC junior Brady Allen hit the first pitch of the game over the right field fence for his seventh home run. In the third, Georgia tied the game as Ben Anderson lined a triple down the left field line and scored on a groundout by Cole Tate. The Gamecocks hit a pair of home runs in the fifth to reclaim the advantage at 4-1. Colin Burgess hit a solo shot and then with one on and two outs, Allen notched his second blast of the game. Georgia sophomore right-hander Jonathan Cannon had not allowed a home run on the year until Sunday and fell to 1-2, surrendering five runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Following a leadoff walk in the sixth, he was lifted in favor of sophomore Michael Polk.
The Gamecocks loaded the bases with one out and were held to a sacrifice fly by Burgess that made it 5-1. Polk went 1.1 scoreless innings and Georgia went to freshman Collin Caldwell with one on in the seventh and he finished the frame. Nolan Crisp came on with one out in the eighth and took care of that inning and Ben Harris pitched a perfect ninth with a couple of strikeouts. In the bottom of the ninth, Connor Tate was hit by a pitch and Garrett Blaylock followed with a double to right that ended Sanders outing. Julian Bosnic came in and retired the next three Bulldogs for his first save.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday when Georgia Southern visits Foley Field. First pitch slated for 5:02 p.m. on SEC Network+ and can be heard on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
Georgia’s Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game and USC’s lineup
“Our hits stayed in the park and theirs (South Carolina) didn’t, and, that’s a really strong, physical, mature lineup. One through nine, even (George) Callil, he hit one out yesterday, (Collin) Burgess hit one out. If you go up and down their order, everybody’s dangerous, and… it is a scary lineup to pitch to. They’re going to make a lot of noise this year, it’s a really good team, and they’re deep on the mound, they’ve got a lot of good arms. It’s disappointing to lose, it’s disappointing to lose at home, especially when you win on Friday and you have a chance to win a series, we just couldn’t get it done.”
Ben Anderson, CF, Jr.
On South Carolina’s line up…
“For the whole weekend that was the main difference, they hit the long ball, and we didn’t. We got about the same amount of hits today. The big thing was they hit the long ball and that let them outscore us.”
Jonathan Cannon, RHP, So.
On recovering after giving up first pitch home run…
“The first pitch of the game was a tough one. I got back into it through the first four innings. I just think they made some good swings on some bad pitches. I made a couple of mistakes in the fifth inning and they didn’t miss them. You have to give them credit, but that’s something I need to work on going into Vanderbilt.”