Vanderbilt evens series with USC

NASHVILLE, TENN. (WACH/USC SID) - A four-run first inning and a four-run fifth inning gave Vanderbilt a 9-3 win over South Carolina on Friday evening at Hawkins Field.

The loss drops the No. 17 Gamecocks back into a tie with Vanderbilt in the SEC East standings. The No. 18 Commodores are now 40-15 and 17-12 in the SEC with South Carolina now 41-14 and 17-12 in league play.

Vanderbilt starter Carson Fulmer earned the win and is now 5-1 on the year. He worked 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with six walks and four strikeouts. Gamecock starter Jack Wynkoop suffered the loss and is 7-4 on the year. He allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings of work with no walks and three strikeouts.

Vanderbilt batted around in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.

South Carolina cut the deficit to three runs in the top of the second. Grayson Greiner belted a leadoff single and advanced to second on a balk. The Gamecocks would benefit from Fulmer struggling with his control as he walked three consecutive batters. Tanner English, Taylor Widener and Patrick Harrington all drew two-out walks with Greiner scoring on Harringtonâ??s walk.

South Carolina would add another run in the fifth inning. Gene Cone singled up the middle with Kyle Martin singling down the right field line to put runners on the corners. Cone would score on fielderâ??s choice by Greiner to bring the Gamecocks within a pair of runs.

"We got it to 4-2 there in the fifth and we had our chances against Fulmer," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "I have no problem with the way we competed against a real good pitcher. I didnâ??t get a chance to play or coach against Roger Clemens but I imagine thatâ??s pretty close to what he used to do as far as his stuff. We had a good approach against him and we just couldnâ??t get the real big hit. We were going to have to win that game 3-2, 4-3. We didnâ??t get the pitching performance we needed, but thatâ??s okay, Jack has been very consistent this year and Iâ??m sure he will bounce back."

The Commodores scored four more in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 8-3.

The critical third game of this series is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.