Sports

2012 College Baseball: Lessons Learned from South Carolina vs. Georgia

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South Carolina split the weekend series with Georgia one game apiece.  Sunday's game was rained out and will not be made up.

Breaking it Down...Like many Friday nights in the SEC the story was pitching.  South Carolina ace Michael Roth threw 7 full innings of shut out baseball.  He was backed up by Tyler Webb and Matt Price who each threw an inning of shut out baseball themselves.  Goergia ace Alex Wood threw a complete game, but he allowed three runs in doing so.

South Carolina didn't scratch the scoreboard until the 7th inning.  L.B. Dantzler hit a solo home run with two outs to give USC a 1-0.  The Gamecocks plated their second run in the 8th when Evan Marzilli drove in Chase Vergason.  For good measure the Gamecocks scored one more in the 9th.  After Grayson Greiner hit a triple, Sean Sullivan executed a squeeze with two strikes to cap the scoring.  USC won 3-0.

On Saturday, Georgia starter Michael Palazzone shut down the Gamecocks' offense.  He yielded one run in the 5th when Joey Pankake hit a double to drive in Tanner English.  That run cut the Georgia lead to 4-1.  The Bulldogs scored a pair in both the 3rd and 4th to chase Jordan Montgomery from the game.  The Bulldogs got that run back in the bottom of the 5th to lead 5-1.  They held that lead until the 9th inning.

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After a brief rain delay, the magic returned.  South Carolina hit two doubles and a single to go with two walks and a hit by pitch to score 4 runs and tie the game.  They got the go ahead run to third but couldn't score him, so the game went into extra innings.  In the bottom of the 10th Georgia put two singles together with a  stolen base to win the game.

Sunday's game was cancelled because of rain, so the series was tied one game each.

What to take away from the weekend…Without the Sunday game to give us a clear cut winner, it's tough to know how to feel about the weekend series.  Baseball doesn't like ties, and because of that there are extra innings and 3, 5 and 7 game series.  That's the way the sport works, but sometimes there are other factors at play.

I imagine that if two game series were the norm, splitting road series would be considered a success.  Based on that assumption, this weekend was successful.  The Gamecocks are a 1/2 game back from the SEC East and overall lead.  They get the last series at home and have every reason to believe they can complete the remarkable comeback they have been grinding for.

Stars of the Series…Michael Roth…W, 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 K…Tanner English…5-8, RBI, SB…L.B. Dantzler…3-9, HR, 2B, 3 RBI…Evan Marzilli…3-7, RBI, SB…Joey Pankake…2-6, 2B, RBI…

Up next…South Carolina returns to SEC play on Thursday night against LSU to complete the SEC season.

Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.