COLUMBIA, MO. (USC SID) – Missouri rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat 30th ranked South Carolina 5-3 on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game SEC baseball series. Missouri is now 31-21 and 11-16 in the SEC with Carolina now 30-21 and 12-15 in league play.
With Carolina leading 3-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tigers mounted their comeback as Chris Cornelius led off the frame with a double to right field. With one out and Cornelius on second base, Trey Harris knocked a RBI single to right field to tie the game. With two outs and pinch runner A.J. Lewis on first base, Brett Bond walked to give Missouri a pair of runners. A balk and a wild pitch would score Lewis with Kameron Misner adding a two-out RBI single to center field pushing Missouri’s lead to a pair of runs. Carolina looked to answer in the bottom of the ninth inning after a pair of one-out singles by LT Tolbert and Jonah Bride. That would be it thought as left-hander Michael Plassmeyer entered and struck out Carlos Cortes and ended the game with a fielder’s choice to third base off the bat of Jacob Olson.
Missouri right-hander Andy Toelken earned the win in relief and is now 4-3 on the year. He pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief with just four hits allowed, one walk and one strikeout. Plassmeyer picked up his first save of the season. South Carolina senior left-hander Josh Reagan took the loss and is now 5-2 for the season. He allowed two runs on two hits in 2.1 innings of relief with three walks and four strikeouts.
South Carolina out-hit Missouri 8-7 despite the loss. Tolbert was 3-for-4 with two runs scored with Olson 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI. Bond went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI to lead Missouri at the plate.
Missouri went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. After Trey Harris reached base on a one-out walk, Bond launched a two-out two-run homer over the wall in left-center to give the Tigers a two-run lead.
South Carolina would tie it at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Hunter Taylor drew a leadoff walk, followed by a base hit to left field by Justin Row and a walk to Tolbert to load the bases. Bride would drive in Taylor with a RBI groundout to short and a two-out infield single to the left side of the bat of Olson would score Tolbert.
Olson gave the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning with a two-out RBI double. Tolbert would get things started in the fifth with a key 10-pitch at bat that resulted in a base hit. On third base with two outs, Olson lifted the double to left-center to give Carolina the one-run lead.
Trey Harris’ one-out RBI single tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and jumpstarted the three-run frame.
South Carolina was 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base with Missouri 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Jacob Olson has a six-game hitting streak and has 18 multi-hit games. LT Tolbert also had a multi-hit game and has 18 multi-hit games this season.
Reed Scott is now tied for seventh on the all-time list for career appearances at South Carolina. Scott has 86 appearances, tied with Jamie Poston (1997-2000). Scott allowed just two runs on four hits in five innings of work with a pair of walks and four strikeouts in the start for the Gamecocks.
QUOTABLE FROM HEAD COACH CHAD HOLBROOK
“Congratulations to Missouri. They were awfully tough to get out there in the eighth inning. We helped them. We had our opportunities to go up by more than one run. We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. Their pitching staff put four zeros up on the board after the fifth and three runs wasn’t good enough to get it done.”
South Carolina returns home to host USC Upstate on Tuesday night at Founders Park. First pitch is 7 p.m. with the game broadcast on SEC Network Plus and available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”