Gamecocks, Marzilli rally past Appalachian State, 6-4

No. 2 South Carolina rallied from a four-run deficit with junior outfielder Evan Marzilli factoring in with a three-run double in the seventh inning that put the Gamecocks ahead and a spectacular catch running into the fence in left-center on a deep fly by Daniel Kassouf to end the game as Carolina defeated Appalachian State 6-4 on Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks are 15-1 on the year while Appalachian State drops to 14-3 for the season.

Junior left-hander Tyler Webb worked 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts to pick up the win. He is now 2-0 on the year. Appalachian State reliever Chad Farmer allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 0.1 innings to suffer the loss. He is now 1-1 on the year. Evan Beal picked up his third save of the season for the Gamecocks as well.

The Mountaineers exploded for four runs in the first inning on the back of a pair of homers from Will Callaway and Tyler Tewell. ASU opened the game with a single from Hector Crespo followed by a base hit by Tyler Zupcic. That set the stage for Callaway, who launched a 1-0 pitch from South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery over the wall in left-center to give ASU a three-run lead. With one out, Tewell added a solo blast that gave Appalachian State a 4-0 lead.

But that would be it for ASU, as the Gamecocks retired the next 23 batters in order on the way to a come from behind win. Carolina would get on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the second inning. LB Dantzler singled with one out and scored on Marzilli’s double to the gap in right-center. Marzilli has reached base in all 16 games this year.

South Carolina crept closer with two more runs in the fourth inning to make it 4-3. The Gamecocks took advantage of a throwing error by Crespo at second base to score a run and Walker added a RBI base hit up the middle.

With the Gamecocks still trailing, they would load the bases in the bottom of the seventh on Farmer. Erik Payne reached base on a fielding error by Callaway at shortstop and Dantzler singled into the gap in left-center with one out and advanced to second as ASU tried to nab Payne at third but the throw didn’t make it. An intentional walk to Tanner English set the stage for Marzilli, who roped the first pitch he saw from Farmer into the gap in right-center clearing the bases and giving the Gamecocks a two-run lead. Marzilli set a career-high with four RBIs in Wednesday’s victory.

Drama would make its way into the picture one more time those as Zupcic led off with a base hit in the ninth inning, the first base runner for ASU since the first inning. With one out and Zupcic on second base, Kassouf would try to tie the game with a long blast to left-center. Marzilli ran a solid route though and was able to corral the ball on the warning track in left-center before banging into the fence and held on with the catch giving the Gamecocks a two-run victory.

Despite a rough first inning, Carolina had a gutsy effort from Montgomery on the mound. He would last 4.2 innings and struck out three batters. He retired 10 in a row before giving way to Hunter Privette, who hurled 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.

Walker led the Gamecocks at the plate with a 3-for-4 day. Marzilli had two hits and Dantzler was 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Zupcic led the Mountaineers with a 2-for-4 day at the plate.

South Carolina begins SEC play this weekend with a three-game series at Kentucky (18-0). The series opener is on Friday at 7 p.m.

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