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Gamecock bats go quiet in SEC-opening loss to Georgia

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Gamecock bats go quiet in SEC-opening loss to Georgia

March 15, 2019

South Carolina baseball’s impressive offensive start to the season met an immovable object Friday night at Founders Park — Georgia’s pitching.

No. 22 USC tied a season-low with five hits against the No. 8 Bulldogs and dropped the opener of its first SEC series of the year, 6-1. 

Freshman left-fielder Brady Allen was responsible for the only run the Gamecocks (14-4, 0-1 SEC) scored all day, crushing an opposite-field solo home run in the bottom of the third to the right-field bullpen.

Beyond that, South Carolina struggled to touch Georgia ace Emerson Hancock, whose fastball hit 98 miles per hour and off-speed stuff kept the Gamecocks off-balance. He improved to 5-0 on the season, pitching seven innings, striking out 12 and walking just two.

For Carolina, freshman starter Wesley Sweatt posted a solid performance as well through five innings — outside of a two-run home run he gave up to designated hitter John Cable in the second inning, he was efficient and effective, needing just 64 pitches.

In the sixth inning, however, he ran out of gas — a throwing error from shortstop George Callil against the leadoff hitter put Sweatt in a hole early, but he then gave up a hard-hit single and a triple to the left-center field gap. Two runs scored, and pitching coach Skylar Meade pulled him for sophomore reliever John Gilreath.

Gilreath gave up a sacrifice fly to tag Sweatt with a fourth earned run, then walked two batters and gave up a double to allow Georgia’s fourth run of the inning and final score of the day.

Sophomore right fielder Andrew Eyster led off the bottom of the sixth with a double, but he was stranded there. The Gamecocks did not get another runner in scoring position the rest of the night.

Georgia baseball’s John Cable (42) celebrates a two-run home run against South Carolina on Friday at Founders Park.

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