ATHENS, GA. – Daniel Nichols' two-out grand slam in the bottom of the third inning helped lift Georgia to a 5-3 victory over seventh ranked South Carolina in the rubber game of a three-game SEC baseball series on Sunday afternoon at Foley Field. South Carolina is now 35-13 and 13-11 in the SEC with Georgia improving to 23-23-1 and 9-14-1 in league play.
Down five runs, the Gamecocks mounted a rally scoring twice in the sixth inning on RBIs from Kyle Martin and Grayson Greiner as well as a run in the ninth inning on a one-out RBI double by Patrick Harrington. However, the Bulldogs would close out the game as a diving grab by Georgia left fielder Conor Welton robbed Jordan Gore of a hit and a groundout off the bat of Gene Cone that ended the game.
Georgia starter David Sosebee picked up the win and is now 1-3 on the year. He allowed two runs on four hits in six innings with two walks and four strikeouts. South Carolina starter Wil Crowe suffered the loss and is 6-3 for the season. He allowed five runs on four hits in three innings with two walks.
Georgia went ahead 1-0 in the second inning. Nichols doubled down the right field line, moved over to third on groundout to second by Sean McLaughlin and scored on Brandon Stephens' RBI groundout also to second base.
Nichols would come up with his second big hit of the day with a grand slam in the bottom of the third to increase Georgia lead to five runs. Mike Bell led off with a single and a pair of two-out walks issued to Hunter Cole and Nelson Ward loaded the bases for Nichols. On a 0-1 pitch, Nichols lifted a pitch deep to center field that just cleared the wall for his second homer of the season and giving Georgia a 5-0 lead. The homer was just the first allowed this year by Crowe.
The Gamecocks cut the deficit to three runs in the sixth inning. Gore and Cone opened the frame with base hits and Marcus Mooney walked to load the bases. With one out, Kyle Martin drove in Gore with a fielder's choice. Grayson Greiner added a two-out RBI single to score Cone. It remained that way until the ninth when Taylor Widener singled and scored on Harrington's RBI double.
Nichols was 2-for-4 wand Hunter Cole 3-for-3 to lead Georgia at the plate. Harrington had two of the Gamecocks' five hits, his first two-hit game of his career.
"Sometimes in baseball it comes down to one pitch and one opportunity," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "They had the bases loaded with a good hitter at the plate and he made the most of the opportunity. We had the bases loaded and our guys didn't make the most of the opportunity, that's what it comes down to sometimes and they capitalized."
The Gamecocks are back in action on Wednesday night returning home to face Wofford in a non-conference tilt. First pitch at Carolina Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
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