Excellent pitching and a pair of timely home runs enabled Alabama to defeat No. 7 South Carolina in Columbia Friday, the Crimson Tide’s first Southeastern Conference victory of the season. Bama is now 12-10 overall and 1-3 in SEC games.
Alabama starter Jake Walters (4-2) and reliever Garrett Suchey shut down the Gamecocks at Founders Park and Cody Henry and Chandler Taylor had home runs to provide three runs.
The teams square off for game two of the series at 3 p.m. CDT Friday. Alabama is scheduled to pitch sophomore left-hander Dylan Duarte while the Gamecocks look to junior righty Wil Crowe.
Walters had another solid outing, working 5 1/3 innings and giving up two runs and five hits. He issued six walks and walked four. His first inning was shaky, giving up four hits and two runs before he recorded an out. He went on to allow just one hit before giving way to Suchey in the sixth.
Suchey followed with 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out five for his second save of the season.
Henry delivered a solo home run, his fourth of the season, in the top of the third inning, as part of his 2-for-3 night. The two-run shot from Taylor in the fourth put the Crimson Tide in front for good. The home run from Taylor was his first of conference play and his team-high sixth on the season.
Bama added a final run in the top of the ninth on an error, stolen base, wild pitch, and RBI single by Kyle Kaufman.