Gamecocks Take Doubleheader

Dores fall 8-4, 8-3

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Vanderbilt dropped both games of its doubleheader at South Carolina on Saturday, falling 8-4 in Game 1 and 8-3 in Game 2.

Game 1

South Carolina struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. The Gamecocks hit back-to-back, two-out singles and worked a walk to load the bases. An infield single brought home the game’s first run and a bases-loaded walk gave the home team a 2-0 lead.

Carter Holton struck out 10 batters over six innings, allowing just the two runs on three hits. Holton has turned in quality starts in consecutive outings and has recorded nine or more strikeouts in three straight starts. The southpaw surpassed the 200-strikeout mark on Saturday, finishing the day with 202. He entered the week ranked sixth among active SEC pitchers in career strikeouts and is second among active SEC pitchers who have spent their entire careers at SEC institutions.

RJ Austin broke up South Carolina’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the top of the seventh. Davis Diaz walked, and the pair of runners advanced on a groundout. Jack Bulger picked up an RBI on a groundout that allowed Austin to touch home and Vandy tied the game on an infield single by Jayden Davis to plate Diaz.

South Carolina retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh as two Vanderbilt errors allowed five unearned runs to cross the plate.

Matthew Polk got one back for the Commodores with a leadoff, solo home run to left in the top of the eighth. Polk’s fourth homer on the season cut South Carolina’s lead to 7-3.

The Gamecocks went back in front by five on an RBI single in the home half of the eighth.

With Vanderbilt trailing 8-3 in the top of the ninth, Espinal worked a leadoff walk followed by a single to center off the bat of Bulger. With two outs, Polk doubled down the line in left to score Espinal. The Dores loaded the bases but were unable to extend the game, falling 8-4.

Game 2

Vanderbilt got on the board first in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Bulger reached on an error and Camden Kozeal was brought on to pinch run. Troy LaNeve then sent a double down the third base line that rolled all the way to the corner, allowing Kozeal to come around from first.

After South Carolina tied things up at 1-1 with a solo homer in the bottom of the second, Vanderbilt quicky got back on top. Espinal was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the third and then stole second. Kozeal roped a single to center field, scoring Espinal to give Vandy a 2-0 advantage.

The Dores put together another two-out rally in the top of the fourth. Jonathan Vastine singled with two down, reached second on a wild pitch and then touched home on a double by Austin.

The Gamecocks hit back-to-back doubles to start off the bottom of the fourth, cutting Vandy’s lead to 3-2. South Carolina then tied the game on a groundout by Parker Noland before taking a 5-3 lead on a two-run home run by Cole Messina.

A pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the sixth gave South Carolina a 7-3 lead. Vanderbilt threatened with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh but were kept off the board. A South Carolina RBI single in the bottom of the seventh made it 8-3.


The Commodores fall to 19-5 (3-2 SEC) while the Gamecocks improve to 18-5 (3-2 SEC). Game 3 of the series is set for 12:30 p.m. CT on Sunday on SECN+.