English back in lineup, helps Gamecocks rally past Vols

Former St. James High standout Tanner English returned to the lineup after missing three weeks with a shoulder injury to help South Carolina rally to a victory over host Tennessee.

Max Schrock’s one-out RBI double in the top of the ninth inning scored LB Dantzler and helped lift 11th ranked South Carolina to a 5-4 win over Tennessee on Friday evening in the first game of a three-game SEC baseball series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 24-7 and 6-4 in the SEC with Tennessee now 13-15 and 3-7 in league play.

With the score deadlocked at 4-4, the Gamecocks caught a break in the top of the ninth as a fielding error by third baseman Will Maddox allowed Dantzler to reach base to open the inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved Dantzler into scoring position, Schrock put Carolina ahead by a run as he launched a 1-0 pitch from UT reliever Zack Godley over the head of center fielder Pierce Bily for a double giving Carolina a one-run cushion. Tennessee looked to mount one more rally in the ninth as Jeff Moberg led off with a walk against Tyler Webb. That would be it for the Volunteers though as Webb retired the next three batters in order. Maddox fouled off a bunt attempt on a nice diving play by third baseman Chase Vergason, followed by strikeouts of A.J. Simcox and Scott Price.

“It was a good feeling,” said Schrock. “It was a fastball up in the zone and I was trying not to do too much with it. I stuck the barrel out there and hit it good.”

Webb earned the win in relief in 1.2 innings of work with just one run allowed, unearned on one hit with a walk and four strikeouts. He is 1-1 on the year. Godley suffered the loss and is 2-3 for the season. He allowed one run, unearned, on one hit in an inning of work.

The Gamecocks broke ahead first in the game in the second inning with an unearned off of Tennessee starter Aaron Quillen. With one out, Schrock reached base after catcher’s interference as his bat hit the mitt of Tennessee catcher David Houser. Carolina would load the bases then as walks to Brison Celek and Grayson Greiner set the stage for English, who drove in Schrock with a sacrifice fly to center.

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