Gamecocks take key SEC series from Missouri

No. 5 South Carolina split a doubleheader with SEC newcomer Missouri on Saturday, shutting out the Tigers 2-0 in the opener and falling 4-0 in the nightcap in Columbia, MO.

In the opener, senior left-hander Nolan Belcher hurled 8.1 scoreless innings and combined with senior left-hander Tyler Webb for a five-hit shutout.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the third inning with an unearned run. Max Schrock reached base with a one-out single to center.

With two outs and Schrock on first base, Joey Pankake belted a single into right-center on a hit and run. On the play, Missouri center fielder Logan Pearson mishandled his fielding attempt and Schrock kept hustling and scored all the way from first base to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead.

Chase Vergason increased the lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning with a solo home run. On Graves’ 1-0 pitch, Vergason turned on a fastball that went over the wall in right field for his third homer of the season.

In the nightcap, Missouri raced out to a three-run lead in the first two innings to chase starter and Conway product Colby Holmes after just 1 1.3 innings. The loss snapped South Carolina’s 10-game winning streak.

Despite the defeat, the Gamecocks take the first conference series of the year. South Carolina is now 17-3 and 2-1 in the SEC with Missouri 6-9 and 1-2 in the league.

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