Tennessee came back from two deficits against No. 10 South Carolina and had the tying run on base in the 10th inning but couldn’t another clutch hit and lost 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Gamecocks (13-5, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) clinched the series win after taking Friday night’s game 7-1. The Volunteers (12-4, 0-2) outhit their visitors 10-4 on Saturday but pitchers issued nine walks.
With the bases loaded and two down, South Carolina’s Jonah Bride worked a walk against Tennessee relief pitcher Jon Lipinski for the game-winning run. Lipinski then hit Jason Olson for the final score.
Freshman catcher Pete Derkay singled to lead off the Tennessee half of the 10th. Two batters later junior center fielder Brodie Leftridge walked to put the potential tying score on first, however, Josh Reagan struck out senior second baseman Jeff Moberg to end it.
Derkay totaled three hits. Leftridge added a pair of knocks and his third stolen base of the season.
Starting pitcher Zach Warren went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Zach Linginfelter (0-1) got the loss after issuing five free passes with a pair of Ks and one hit allowed in four frames before giving way to Lipinski in the 10th.
An Andre Lipcius RBI single highlighted a two-run third inning for Tennessee to break a scoreless tie.
After South Carolina put a three spot up in the top of the fourth, the Vols answered right back in the bottom half. Moberg's single to left field brought home Max Bartlett to knot things at 3-all.
The Gamecocks again inched ahead with catcher Hunter Taylor touched the plate. The Tennessee response was immediate as pinch hitter Matt Waldren banged a one-out home run to left field to even it at 4-all.
Tennessee coach Dave Serrano said in the post-game press conference that freshman outfielder Justin Ammons (shoulder) and redshirt junior relief pitcher Kyle Serrano (flu) were unavailable. Both are questionable for the series finale Sunday.
First pitch for Game 3 in Knoxville is at 2 p.m. Eastern. Will Neely gets the start on the mound for the Big Orange.