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  • Will Kronsberg

Gamecocks drop first game of the season to Texas

It was a competitive battle on the diamond between No. 12 South Carolina and No. 19 Texas, but in the end, it was the Longhorns who took a 4-1 lead in the eighth and held on to give the Gamecocks their first loss of the 2021 season.

The two starting pitchers matched wits all night, with both South Carolina’s Thomas Farr and Texas’ Ty Madden allowing just one run each, but South Carolina’s bullpen ultimately surrendered the win. Farr had 10 strikeouts on 100 pitches, both career highs, in his six innings of work. While his counterpart, Madden, pitched seven innings and struck out five Gamecock hitters.

In the eighth inning, South Carolina turned to freshman pitcher Will Sanders, who ultimately took the loss. Sanders allowed a triple, a walk, and a two-RBI double to break a 1-1 tie while recording no outs.

On the other side, all nine hitters in Texas’ starting lineup reached base safely with eight different Longhorns recording a hit in the game. Leading the charge was freshman shortstop Trey Faltine, who supplied both a stellar glove up the middle and a two for three effort at the plate. However, credit for the go-ahead double goes to junior first baseman Zach Zubia.

For South Carolina, offense was extremely limited after a trio of walks and a sac fly scored Josiah Sightler in the second. Junior Wes Clarke, who leads Division I with eight homeruns, did register two hits but was tagged out in the ninth trying to dive back into first after an errant throw, which proved to be the Gamecocks’ last shot at staying in the game.

Getting credit for the win for Texas was true freshman Aaron Nixon in just his fourth career appearance. For Nixon, it was sweet redemption after allowing a walk-off homerun against Houston last weekend.

The Gamecocks (11-1) will look to get equal with Texas (9-5) tomorrow at 3:30 EST/2:30 CST with Brannon Jordan and Tristan Stevens, respectively, expected to take the mound. The two teams will complete the series at 12:30 EDT/11:30 CDT on Sunday after daylight savings time takes effect.

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