Fifth-Inning Grand Slam Lifts No. 7 S. Carolina to Series Opener
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Max Schrock belted a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning and Wil Crowe allowed only one hit with 10 strikeouts in seven innings, lifting No. 7 South Carolina to a 10-1 win over Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference opener on Friday night in front of 6,604 at Carolina Stadium.
Kentucky (13-4, 0-1 SEC) opened up the game with a run in the top of the first inning, before riding a strong start from Zack Brown (1-2) into the fifth inning. Three walks and a sacrifice bunt put Brown in a jam with Schrock at the plate. Schrock turned on a fastball and ripped it over the rightfield fence, giving the Gamecocks the lead. USC then chased Brown in the sixth inning with two runs to stretch its lead to 6-1 and added a pair of runs in each the seventh and eighth for the final margin.
The loss snaps UK's 11 game winning streak, which tied for the sixth-longest streak in program history and the longest since 2012's record 22-game streak.
A native of Seymour, Ind., Brown had his streak of consecutive scoreless innings pitched snapped at 14.2 after the Schrock homer. Brown worked a two-hit, complete-game shutout in a win last weekend, striking out a career high 11. Brown finished with 5.1 innings, allowing four hits and five runs, walking five and striking out four.
UK junior lefty Dylan Dwyer came on in relief of Brown, getting a pair of outs and snapping his streak of 10 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. He allowed three runs - two earned - on two hits and two walks. Taylor Martin then worked the remainder of the game in relief for the Wildcats.
South Carolina (15-3, 1-0 SEC) starter Wil Crowe (3-1) picked up the win with seven strong innings of work, allowing only one UK hit, an RBI knock from JaVon Shelby in the first inning. Crowe allowed just three walks and struck out a career-high tying 10. Cody Mincey took over to start the eighth inning, completing the game for the Cocks.
The series will resume on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ and WatchESPN, with former USC great Trey Dyson on the call. The game will also be broadcast live on the UK Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on Fox Sports Radio 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com. UK will send junior right-hander Dustin Beggs (2-1, 2.59 ERA) to the mound to face off with South Carolina veteran standout southpaw Jack Wynkoop (3-1, 2.00 ERA).
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a hit and a pair of USC errors. Barrett led off with a grounder up the middle, with the throw skipping away in the dirt, with Barrett taking second on a two-base error. After a ground out, Tom reached first on a second error up the middle, with Barrett taking third with one out. Shelby then singled through the left side, giving UK a 1-0 advantage.
South Carolina claimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, as DC Arendas led off with a full-count walk, taking second on a misfired pickoff attempt by Brown. After Marcus Mooney and Gene Cone drew walks, sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt, Schrock ripped the go-ahead grand slam.
USC added two runs on a hit and an error in the bottom of the sixth inning.
South Carolina loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, plating a pair of runs for an 8-1 lead.
A pair of runs scored for USC in the bottom of the eighth inning for the final margin.
GAME NOTES: Junior centerfielder Kyle Barrett started his team-best 93rd career game and played in his team-leading 109th career game ... Sophomore second baseman JaVon Shelby made his team-leading 69th consecutive start ... Sophomore righty Zack Brown made his fourth start of the year and the ninth of his career ... Sophomore rightfielder Storm Wilson was hit by his fourth pitch of the year and the 19th of his career ... Junior catcher Greg Fettes laid down his first sacrifice bunt of the year and the third of his career ... Brown had his streak of 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings snapped with the fifth-inning grand slam ... Junior lefty Dylan Dwyer made his fifth appearance of the year and the 33rd of his career ... Junior righty Taylor Martin appeared in his third game of the year and the 21st of his career ... Dwyer had his streak of 10 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run snapped ... Freshman third baseman Riley Mahan has an eight-game hitting streak snapped ... Sophomore shortstop Connor Heady has a team-leading and career-long nine-game hitting streak snapped ... South Carolina leads the all-time series, 45-34, including a 26-10 all-time mark in games played in Columbia, S.C. ... UK is now 11-2 when scoring first and 6-1 when scoring in the first inning.