MSU loses to USC 5-3

STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 4 South Carolina (17-3, 1-1 SEC) scored four runs in the fourth inning and pitchers David Marchbanks and Blake Taylor made it stand up as the Gamecocks evened their weekend series with a 5-3 win at No. 23 Mississippi State (10-5-1, 1-1 SEC) Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The SEC season-opening series concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Bulldogs led briefly on Jon Mungle's two-out home run in the second inning, his fourth home run in four days.

But USC took command of the game in the fourth when the first four Gamecock batters faced by Bulldog starter Tanner Brock (3-1) in the inning hit safely. Yaron Peters and Trey Dyson opened the frame with singles and Garris Gonce followed with a game-tying double to left. Brian Buscher followed with a two-run triple off the right-centerfield wall and scored on Landon Powell's infield groundout.

USC expanded its lead to 5-1 when Drew Meyer opened the fifth with his first home run of the season. All five runs were charged to Brock, who gave up seven hits and struck out four in six innings. Chris Young replaced Brock in the seventh, allowing a single and giving up a walk in three innings of shutout relief work.

Marchbanks retired 13 consecutive Bulldog batters before walking Matthew Brinson to open the seventh. Steve Gendron extended his career-best and team season-high hitting streak to 11 games with a double, and Mungle drove in the game's final two runs with a sharply-hit single through the middle of the USC infield. Blake Taylor then replaced Marchbanks, striking out four and blanking the Bulldogs the remainder of the game to earn his third save.

MSU rallied in the ninth when Taylor issued inning-opening walks to Brinson and Gendron. But Michael Brown, after missing on two bunt attempts, grounded into a double play and Mungle struck out to end the game, giving Taylor his third save of the campaign.

Buscher and Jon Coutlangus had two hits each and Buscher two RBI for South Carolina, while Maniscalco and Mungle collected two hits apiece and Mungle drove in all three Bulldog runs.

USC (17-2, 1-1 SEC) 000 410 000 - 5-8-0
MSU (10-5-1, 1-1 SEC) 010 000 200 - 3-5-1
WP - David Marchbanks (5-1). LP - Tanner Brock (3-1). SV - Blake Taylor (3). HR - (USC) Drew Meyer (1), (MSU) Jon Mungle (5). T - 2:24. ATT - 6260 (paid), 2323 (actual).

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