Gamecocks Take Sunday 10-4 and the Series

South Carolina won on Friday 8-3 and Auburn came back to win 6-4 on Saturday. The Gamecocks won the rubber match 10-4 on Sunday.

Columbia, S.C.—It was a typical Sunday pitching performance for Auburn as South Carolina took the series finale 10-4. Auburn pitchers allowed 10 earned runs on 12 hits, five walks and three hit batters while only the heart of the batting order had a solid day from the plate for the Tigers.

Coming into the contest with identical records, Auburn dropped to 25-15 and 8-10 in the SEC while South Carolina, which would hold the tie-breaker over the Tigers for the SEC Tournament, advanced to 26-14, 9-9.

Auburn is currently in possession of eighth place in the league as of Sunday.

"I thought one of the differences is that they had 12 hits and we gave them eight free passes via either walks or three hit-by-pitches," Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said. "If you give a good team 20 base runners in eight innings, it's tough to overcome. I thought we put ourselves in a tough spot by doing that. I thought that was one of the biggest differences today."

The Gamecocks scored two in the first, two in the fourth and three in the fifth off Auburn starter Taylor Thompson and reliever Scott Shuman, who was credited with one of the runs.

While South Carolina was getting free passes to first base with walks and hit-by-pitches, the Tigers were takers runners off the bases by hitting into four double plays.

"They played good defense," Pawlowski noted. "You've got a chance to win, and unfortunately they turned some double plays and ended some threats that we had. We didn't really have many opportunities after that. They took advantage of the situation and ended up winning the series."

Auburn scored its four runs on nine hits with one South Carolina error. The meat of the order was where the Tigers got most of its production as Joseph Sanders, Ben Jones and Hunter Morris in the 3-4-5 spots in the order combined to hit safely 7-12 with three RBI. The 6-9 and 1-2 spots in the order were just 2-20 with one RBI. Both Sanders and Jones homered for the Tigers.

Thompson was credited with the loss for Auburn, dropping his record to 2-3 on the year.

"We put ourselves in a tough spot," Pawlowski said. "We just didn't pitch it well today. I thought they had some good swings on it and hit some home runs."

South Carolina starter Blake Cooper picked up the win going six innings allowing four earned on seven hits.

"I thought he did a great job," Pawlowski said of Cooper. "I thought he threw is breaking ball, his changeup and his off-speed stuff very well. He kept our guys off stride all day. Consequently we didn't put very many good swings on it all day. "

After falling behind early, Auburn tied it at 2-2 in the third with Sanders' homerun, his 18th of the year. The Gamecocks claimed at 7-3 advantage through five innings, but Sanders singled home Kevin Patterson in the seventh to put the Tigers within striking distance at 7-4. However, Justin Dalles led off the bottom half of the inning with a homerun.

The Gamecocks added two more insurance runs with a hit-by-pitch, single, throwing error, walk, sacrifice and single making the score 10-4.

Auburn stayed one game ahead of Vanderbilt, which was swept by Alabama, for eighth place in the conference.

"You've got 12 conference games left and there is a lot of work to be done," Pawlowski said of his teams. "We've got to go out and earn it. We've got a lot of work to do. I told these guys that we've got to do it on the field. It's nice where we are. At least we've have a chance right now."

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