South Carolina and Tennessee entered Saturday not having yet decided a single game in their series. Their Friday night game was postponed due to rain tied 2-2 in the 12th, but the events that followed in both games gave the Gamecocks a major shot in the arm and then some. In the bottom of the 14th, Jordan Gore launched a walk-off solo homer to lift South Carolina to a 3-2 win.
Game 2 looked to be vastly different in the early stages, but the result was ultimately the same. Tennessee jumped out to what appeared to be a comfortable 6-0 lead by the 4th inning, but the Gamecocks have had a flare for the dramatic this season to say the least. Entering the bottom of the 9th, USC trailed 6-3 and got down to their final out when the rally began. After a Brison Celek base hit, Max Schrock belted a 2 run homer to cut the deficit to 6-5. Multiple pitching changes later, South Carolina was able to load the bases for Greyson Greiner who crushed a 1-0 pitch from Peter Lenstrom deep into left field for the walk-off grand slam. In today’s game with the state of the bats, home runs don’t happen that frequently, but seeing not one, but two walk-off bombs in the same day is absolutely incredible. Kudos to the Gamecocks, who continue to show they’re never out of a ballgame.
Elsewhere around the league, more doubleheaders were played on Saturday. Florida pulled off a surprising sweep of LSU with their own late inning heroics as Justin Shafer hit a walk-off home run off LSU ace Aaron Nola to win 2-1. The loss was just Nola’s first of the season as his record dropped to 5-1. Game 2 saw Florida put up back-to-back 3 run innings in the 5th and 6th to get out in front and stay that way as the Gators swept LSU on the day. Starter Logan Shore came 1 out away from a complete game as he scattered just 6 hits and 2 earned runs in the win.
Mississippi State and Arkansas earned a couple of fair results in Starkville as the teams split their doubleheader. Game 1 saw Arkansas lefty Jalen Beeks keep Bulldog hitters off balance as he tossed 8 shutout innings to earn the win as the Razorbacks took Game 1 by a 4-0 margin. Game 2 was a different story, as Mississippi State All-American Ross Mitchell pitched brilliantly once again when his team needed him most. The lefty tossed his second complete game in three total SEC starts (all wins), allowing just 1 run on 4 hits to go along with 2 strikeouts as MSU got the win 5-1. A very important rubber game is set for Sunday at 1:30 pm at Dudy Noble Field.