Home winning streak snapped

South Carolina's 14-game home win streak was snapped by Cal State Bakersfield in a tough 8-3 loss Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Roadrunners (12-5) salvaged the series finale with a sound victory, scoring six unanswered runs after a 1-1 second inning tie. The loss marks Carolina's first defeat in Columbia since a 5-2 loss to Florida on May 21, 2010.

Looking for their third weekend sweep of the season, the Gamecocks ran into a buzz saw against Cal State Bakerfield's Tommy Hoenshell.  The bulky 6'5, 220 lbs. junior pitcher, who has a win over Arizona State under his belt this season, provided the Roadrunners eight strong innings of work and scattered South Carolina's eight hits to earn the victory.  He improved to 3-2 and gave up two walks Sunday after giving up just 1 in his first 30.2 innings of work this season.

USC baseball coach Ray Tanner said his team made plays to overcome the pesky Roadrunners in the first two games but Sunday's affair left little room for error.

"Today with (Tommy) Hoenshell on the mound for them you can't afford to give opportunities away, and that's what we did with some walks and a tough error," said Tanner, who's team drops to 11-2 on the season and will travel to Furman on Tuesday "They were able to capitalize on some opportunities and they had a guy on the mound that knows how to pitch."

Playing from behind for the third straight day, the Gamecocks answered an early Cal State Bakerfield's lead in the second inning only to fall apart in the next frame.  USC starter Tyler Webb lasted just 2 1/3 innings after loading the bases in the third on two walks and a single.  Forrest Koumas came in on relief but the Roadrunners continued to have their way.  Cal State Bakersfield scored four runs on two hits and 1 infield error by Peter Mooney in the inning to set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Webb, who was making his first start since Clemson's Will Lamb made remarks about his  "soft" performance in last weekend's series, never seemed to find his rhythm against the Roadrunners.  Webb took the loss Sunday, giving up 2 earned runs, three hits and four walks.

"I didn't throw enough strikes today. I don't know, my arm felt good," said Webb, who dropped his first decision of the season."I felt fine. I wasn't throwing enough strikes."

The frustrations, both offensively and defensively, continued to grow for Carolina as it went five innings unanswered on run production. Hoenshell stifled the Gamecocks' bats, retiring a stretch of nine of 11 batters  in the middle innings.  South Carolina got a pair of base runners on hits by Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Adrian Morales in the sixth inning but was unable to scratch across any runs.

Jake Williams sparked some momentum for Carolina in the eighth inning with a  lead-off triple to left field. Williams' second triple of the season allowed him to score on Bradley Jr.'s RBI sacrifice fly.  Christian Walker's stand-up double and Morales RBI single to left gave USC a 7-3 deficit. However, that was all the Gamecocks could muster offensively on an overall flat day.

With a team-high .447 batting average, Walker stood out at the plate for the Gamecocks with a 2-for-4 outing with 2 runs scored and 2 doubles on the day.

Walker said Hoenshell's 13 induced putouts is a concern but it's something the team has been working on all season.

"His fastball wasn't really overpowering. I think it was good enough with his breaking stuff," said Walker. "It was just one of those days. We had a couple hits, but they just weren't together. Sometimes that's just how it goes."

South Carolina (11-2) will visit Furman Tuesday night at Flour Field in Greenville and host Wofford on Wednesday. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m. starts.  Tanner said Adam Westmoreland and Colby Holmes, respectively, are probably starters for the mid-week games. The Gamecocks will start SEC play on Friday when the Georgia Bulldogs (8-8) come to town. CSU 0 1 4 0 0 2 0 0 1 8 10 0 USC 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 8  1

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