NASHVILLE, TN (WACH/USC SID) - South Carolina has had a flair for the dramatic all season long, so why stop the trend in the final week of the regular season.
The No. 17 Gamecocks scored in the top of ninth and tenth innings to earn a 4-3 come-from-behind win over No. 18 Vanderbilt on
Thursday evening in the first game of a three-game SEC baseball series at Hawkins Field.
The Gamecocks improve to 41-13, 17-11 in the SEC with Vanderbilt now 39-15 and 16-12 in league play.
Trailing 3-2 entering the top of the ninth inning, Max Schrock knocked a two-out RBI single into right field to tie the game.
Joel Seddon entered in the bottom of the ninth and Vanderbilt threatened to end the game as John Norwood singled and Rhett Wiseman walked to open the frame. With one out and runners still on first and second base, Ro Coleman knocked a base hit up the middle. Vanderbilt looked to score as Wiseman was sent around third to home but a perfect throw by center fielder Tanner English kept the winning run from scoring. Seddon got out of the inning with a flyout.
In the top of the 10th inning, Joey Pankake blasted a 0-1 pitch from Brian Miller for a solo home run to left-center for his fifth round-tripper of the season. It held up as the game-winner. The win was South Carolinaâ??s fifth win of the season when trailing entering the ninth inning.
"First pitch (from Miller) got in on me," said Joey Pankake. "He is really good and really tough to hit, throws a lot of strikes. I got the pitch I was looking for and I was fortunate enough to put a good swing on it that barely cleared the fence, but I'll take it."
Seddon pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. He is now 3-1 on the year. Miller suffered the loss and is 1-1 on the year. He allowed a run on two hits in 1.2 innings of work.
"That was a great college baseball game," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "Our kids battled and competed until the last pitch, their kids did too. We made some great plays, they made some great plays. Tanner made an unbelievable throw to save the game and Max with a hurt back, barely can walk gets the game-tying hit with two outs and two strikes. Incredible baseball game to be a part of and our guys found a way to win."
Pankake and Schrock were each 2-for-5 to lead the Gamecocks at the plate.
The series continues on Friday with first pitch at 7:30 p.m. ET.