Saturday, March 30, 2013
Columbia, S.C – LB Dantzler homered twice including a game-winner in the bottom of the eighth inning as No. 14 South Carolina scored three runs in the frame on the way to a 6-3 win over No. 13 Texas A&M to sweep a three-game SEC baseball series. The Gamecocks are now 22-6 and 5-4 in the SEC with the Aggies dropping to 18-11 and 5-4 in league play.
Tied at 3-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Dantzler came to the plate with one out. Dantzler drove the first pitch he saw from Aggie reliever Jason Jester into the bullpen in right field for his second homer of the game and ninth of the season to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. It was only the second run allowed this year by Jester. With the capacity crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium in a frenzy, the Gamecocks added some insurance runs. Connor Bright followed with a double and Chase Vergason was hit by a pitch. With two outs, the Gamecocks scored a pair of runs as Dante Rosenberg lifted a fly ball into right field that A&M right fielder Brandon Wood lost in the sun allowing both runners to score and increasing the lead to three runs.
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland would pick up the win in relief after going 4.2 innings and allowing one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He is 3-0 on the year. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb came on in relief to get the final two outs for his third save of the series and 11th of the season. Jester suffered the loss out of the pen and is now 2-1 on the year. He allowed three runs on three hits in two innings with a strikeout.
Carolina would break ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, Vergason reached base on a hit by pitch. After a balk moved him into scoring position, freshman designated hitter George Iskenderian ripped a 3-2 pitch into right-center for a single scoring Vergason.
Texas A&M scored twice in the top of the third to take a one-run lead. Cole Lankford led off with a base hit. The Aggies then added another base runner as a bunt by Troy Stein went for a base hit. Both runners would move into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, A&M scored its first run as Charlie Curl reached base on a fielding error by shortstop Joey Pankake. With the bases loaded and still one out, A&M went ahead on a sacrifice fly by Mikey Reynolds to deep left field.
Dantzler answered with his first homer of the game in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Dantzler launched a 2-2 pitch from Texas A&M starter Daniel Mengden over the right field wall. Bright put Carolina ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning with a solo homer, his second of the season. Bright blasted a 1-0 pitch down the left field line that was just fair of the foul pole.
Texas A&M responded in the top half of the seventh to tie the game. The Aggies manufactured a run as Krey Bratesen led off with a single to right-center, stole second base and after a sacrifice bunt moved him over, he would score on Mitchell Nau’s RBI groundout.
Texas A&M had eight hits with the Gamecocks with seven for the contest. Dantzler and Bright were both 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Vergason scored two runs as well. Bratsen went 2-for-2 to lead Texas A&M at the plate.
South Carolina is back in action on Tuesday night hosting Charleston Southern. First pitch is at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on SportSouth and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”