HOOVER, Ala.-- Second-seeded South Carolina scored three unearned runs and held off a ninth-inning rally to beat Vanderbilt 3-2 Friday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The loss eliminated the Commodores (27-28) and ended the season for first-year coach Tim Corbin and his team.
The Gamecocks (39-19) scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning on a throwing error by Vandy shortstop Ryan Klosterman to take a 3-1 lead.
Vanderbilt threatened to tie or win the game in the bottom of the ninth, when John Kaye singled in pinch runner Gil Kim to cut the Gamecocks' lead to 3-2. With two Commodore runners on base, South Carolina starter David Marchbanks was removed for reliever Aaron Rawl, who got the next two batters out on pop flies and earned his sixth save.
Vandy pitchers Robert Ransom and Ryan Mullins combined to hold South Carolina to only three hits, but all three Gamecocks runs were unearned. Mullins (3-8), who had the misfortune of pitching at the time of Klosterman's error, was charged with the loss.
Vanderbilt's offense, meanwhile, managed 11 hits, but scored only a pair of runs. Marchbanks, named SEC Pitcher of the Year earlier in the week, started the game and mostly kept the Commodore hitters at bay for 8-1/3 innings.
South Carolina's Jon Coutlangus scored the game's first run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly, after a fielding error had allowed him to advance to third. The Commodores tied the game 1-1 in the sixth, when Worth Scott singled in Warner Jones.
Marchbanks struck out nine batters and walked two on the way to his 13th win of the season.
The Gamecocks, who lost to Alabama in their opener on Thursday, face the Auburn-Alabama loser on Saturday in another elimination game.