Enders' big day saves Gamecocks in extras

The Brown Bears were not going to go down without a fight on Sunday, battling USC all the way to extra innings before it could be decided. Gamecock starter Tyler Webb pitched well after a rough outing against Clemson last week, and Columbia native Rob Wilcox also had a good effort for Brown. Nick Ebert had a key pinch hit HR to help USC, along with Enders 4 RBI in the 6-5 victory.

"It was a hard fought win, we knew it would be," said Tanner. "Wilcox knows how to pitch, I didn't expect us to get a lot of runs, and he didn't allow too many. He did a super job, and Webb pitched pretty good for us as well. It was anybody's game, we battled, they battled, and fortunately we came up with a big hit at the end."

In the first two innings, Tyler Webb registered 4 strikeouts. He allowed two singles, but was able to work out of trouble both times. Webb was sharp after having a terrible time against Clemson, when he allowed 4 earned runs in just over an inning.

Coach Tanner said good things about Webb after the game, but stopped short of saying that he had earned the role of Sunday starter.

"He did a nice job," noted Tanner. "Had pretty good composure, the ball got up in the zone a little bit. He put us in a position to win, so it was a quality start for him."

In their first turn at bat, the Gamecocks were able to get a run, as Enders drove in Whit Merrifield with a single. It would be all the scoring for either team until the 5th inning as both starters settled in.

The Gamecocks finally broke through for 2 more runs against Wilcox in the bottom of the 5th, as Enders continued his masterful work with 2 outs. A single on a 2-1 pitch allowed both Wingo and Morales to score. In the first inning Enders also had a 2 out hit to drive in a run.

Brown mounted their comeback beginning in the 6th inning, as Pete Greskoff hit a 2-run shot to pull Brown within 1 run. In the 7th, a HBP to start the inning helped Brown score twice to take a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the inning. Brown also scored on a wild pitch by Parker Bangs to take the lead.

The Gamecocks mounted a comeback of their own in the 7th, and took the lead on Nick Ebert's first home run of the season. After Merrifield walked and was bunted over by Morales, Ebert took one into the Carolina bullpen in right-center field, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Brown scratched through for a run in the top of the 9th to tie the game at 5. Daniel Rosoff singled to start the inning before moving up to 2nd on a past ball. After two outs, Colantonio drove him in with a key 2 out single. Price blew the save, but was able to get an out after surrendering another single to end the damage.

Tanner said he didn't think it was a terrible pitching effort for his team, especially facing a team that had such a strong offense.

"I don't think anybody was terrible, Matt gave up a couple of hits when he tried to close the game out," said Tanner. "But we only gave up 5 runs (total) today. Certainly not flawless, but our pitching staff's done a nice job."

Carolina tried to get one across in the 9th but was unable to, as Robert Beary flied out with two on and two out.

In the 10th inning, Colby Holmes and Jimmy Revan were able to hold the Bears down despite Brown putting a runner on 2nd base with just one out. Finally in the bottom of the 10th the Gamecocks were able to close out the series sweep and move to 11-4 on the year.

It all started with Evan Marzilli's double into left field. Scott Wingo bunted Marzilli to 3rd with just one man down. After intentionally walking Merrifield and Morales, Nick Ebert was up, with a chance to build on his homer earlier in the afternoon. He was unable to, striking out and giving Kyle Enders one more chance to come up big.

Enders fell behind 0-2, but after taking a ball, was able to push a pitch into right field to score Marzilli and give USC the win.

USC swept the series, but did not blow out the Bears in any game, as the team from the Ivy League more than held their own. Coach Tanner was very complimentary of Brown during the series, saying that he believes they are a team that has a chance to win their league and appear in the NCAA tournament.

Enders led the Gamecocks with 4 RBI, while Ebert contributed the other 2 with his 2-run blast. Parker Bangs was key in relief with 1 and 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, and Jimmy Revan picked up the win after combining with Holmes to shut out the Bears in the 10th.

At 11-4 on the season, Tanner said his team is not quite where he wants it to be yet, but they are certainly making progress in the face of numerous injuries.

"We've got to go play," said Tanner. "You've got to find a way to survive, and you've got to find a way to win even when things aren't as good as you want them to be. They know that we're a little bit better than we've shown. We've got to continue to try to win and grow and hopefully we get all our guys back sooner than later."

The Gamecocks will head to Greenville on Tuesday to face Furman at Fluor Field. Wednesday they will play at Carolina Stadium and take on Davidson. It will be their last non-conference game before Tennessee comes in to start SEC play this weekend.

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