Lefty pitcher Jack Wynkoop gave up just one unearned run in eight innings to improve his record to 7-4. He got plenty of run support led by first baseman Kyle Martin, who drove home seven runs on a night he hit a two-run homer and a grand slam.
Cole Lipscomb took the loss, dropping to 6-2, as he gave up three runs and five hits in six innings. The Auburn bullpen struggled as Jacob Milliman, Will Thompson and Sam Mason combined to give up the other seven runs.
Auburn’s record dropped to 10-12 in the SEC and 30-17 overall. The Gamecocks have matched Auburn’s league record at 10-12 and are 27-19 overall.
Wynkoop struck out 10 batters, something that did not please Auburn coach Sunny Golloway. “He is a good pitcher, you have got to be good,” said the coach, who noted that his Tigers “were swinging at breaking balls in the dirt.”
Golloway added, “That was as disappointing as I have been in our hitting in a long time. I don’t know what happened tonight. I was baffled by it...Today we were really bad offensively.”
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the third inning. Anfernee Grier, who reached base on an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error on the play, scored on a two-out single by Daniel Robert.
Grier was the only Tiger with more than one hit as he finished the night with three.
Elliott Caldwell tied the game in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single.
The Gamecocks took the lead for good on a two-run homer to right field in the fifth inning by Martin.
The Gamecocks added two more runs in the seventh and then put the game away with five in the seventh, including Martin’s grand slam.
The teams will play the second game of the series at 2:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday.