From the University of South Carolina
STATESBORO, GA – Brady Thomas' three-run double in the top of the 13th inning broke a 5-5 tie and John Taylor hurled two perfect innings of relief to pick up his first win of the season as South Carolina earned an 8-5 win over Georgia Southern on Tuesday night at Clements Stadium. Carolina is now 17-4 on the year with the victory extending the team's winning streak to 11 games. Georgia Southern is now 11-11 on the year.
The top of the 13th saw Scott Wingo draw a leadoff walk, Jackie Bradley Jr. single and Christian Walker reach on a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Thomas. On reliever Collin Snow's 1-1 pitch, Thomas drilled a double to left field over the head of left fielder Bryce Dial scoring all three runners. Thomas would reach third base on the throw to the plate as well. Thomas retired Georgia Southern in order in the bottom half to preserve Carolina's win.
Taylor is now 1-1 for the season as he struck out two of the six batters he faced. Georgia Southern reliever Collin Snow suffered the loss and is now 0-1 for the season. He worked 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning. Bobby Haney reached base on a leadoff single and scored on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-out RBI single up the middle. Georgia Southern answered with a single run in the bottom half of the third as A.J. Wirnsberger connected on a 2-1 pitch from Belcher for a home run over the right centerfield wall. The home run for Wirnsberger was his seventh of the season. Carolina regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning as Adam Matthews doubled off the wall in right field and scored on Haney's RBI groundout to second base. The Eagles again answered in their bottom half with a run to tie the game at 2-2. Victor Roache drew a one-out walk against Belcher and Roman Grimaldi tallied a two-out RBI base hit to give the Eagles a pair of runners.
Carolina went to the bullpen for Jose Mata, who walked Arthur Owens to load the bases. On a 1-2 pitch, Mata threw wild and past Gamecock catcher Brady Thomas allowing Roache to score and knot the game up. Mata got out of the jam then as he induced Kevin Bowles into a groundout to second baseman Scott Wingo to keep the Eagles from going ahead.
In the sixth inning, for the third time in the game, South Carolina scored in their top of the inning only to see Georgia Southern answer in the bottom half as each team scored a pair of runs. Thomas greeted Georgia Southern reliever Chris Beck with a solo home run to left center in the top of the sixth to put the Gamecocks back out in front. It was Thomas' first homer of the season. Carolina would add a run as Matthews walked and after a sacrifice bunt from Adrian Morales, would score on Bobby Haney's RBI base hit. However, Georgia Southern plated home a pair of runs in the bottom half as Gamecock reliever Jimmy Revan entered and struggled with his control and walked both Randy Williams and Roman Grimaldi to open the inning. They would eventually score on a one-out RBI groundout by Kevin Bowles and a two-out RBI double from A.J. Wirnsberger.
South Carolina took its fourth lead of the game in the top of the eighth inning. Haney opened the frame with a single and the Gamecocks would load the bases with two outs on walks to Scott Wingo and Nick Ebert. GSU reliever Collin Snow then let one slip and Haney would score on the wild pitch to give the Gamecocks a one-run cushion.
Georgia Southern tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Eagles caught a couple of breaks though as A.J. Wirnsberger on a 2-2 count reached base as he was hit by a pitch by Jay Brown. With pinch runner Al Williams on base, GSU sacrificed with Arthur Owens to move Williams into scoring position. Carolina went to the bullpen for right-hander Parker Bangs. On a 1-2 pitch, Eric Phillips knocked a ground ball to third baseman Adrian Morales. On the play, Morales through wide and up the line and past first baseman Christian Walker allowing Williams to score all the way from second base. Bangs would retire the next two hitters in order to keep the game tied and send it into extra innings.