Gamecocks rally past Tennessee in ninth to even series

LB Dantzler’s one-out single in the bottom of the ninth lifted 10th ranked South Carolina to a 2-1 win over Tennessee on Saturday evening at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina improved to 22-9 and 4-7 in the SEC while loss drops Tennessee to 20-11 and 6-5 in league play. The rubber game of the series is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

South Carolina received a tremendous start from freshman lefthander Jordan Montgomery, who allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings of work. He struck out seven and walked none in the no-decision. Montgomery’s solid work on the mound set the Gamecocks up for the victory.

With the score deadlocked at 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Gamecocks looked to score the final run as Connor Bright led off with a single to left field. Grayson Griener moved Bright to second on a sacrifice bunt and Bright continued to third on a wild pitch from Tennessee reliever Carter Watson. With one out and runners on the corners, Dantzler drove the first pitch he saw to deep center field scoring the winning run.

Tyler Webb earned the win and improved to 3-0 on the season. He pitched a perfect ninth inning. Watson took the loss and is now 3-1 for the year.

South Carolina had just five hits but managed to walk nine times in the game and the Gamecocks were also hit by three pitches. TJ Costen was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Carolina.

Tennessee would grab an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Will Maddox led off the game with a triple down the left field line and was brought home when Zach Luther grounded out to Joey Pankake at shortstop.

South Carolina tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. A one-out walk to Dantzler followed by a single from TJ Costen and Evan Marzilli reached on an error from Tennessee’s first baseman loaded the bases for Adam Matthews. A sacrifice fly from Matthews to center drove in Dantzler putting the Gamecocks on the board.

In his first SEC start, Montgomery retired 12 in a row at one point after the triple to lead off the game by UT and only allowed one more batter to reach third base the rest of the evening. Tennessee starter T.J. Thornton allowed just one run, unearned on three hits in four innings with five walks and two strikeouts.

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