Vanderbilt fell to 21-7, 4-5 in the Southeastern Conference, while South Carolina improved to 23-5, 4-5 in league play.
The Commodores narrowed the USC lead to 5-4 in the fifth inning after the Gamecocks scored three runs of their own in the top of the inning. Antoan Richardson was hit by a pitch followed by a Warner Jones single up the middle. Cesar Nicolas then hit a double deep to center scoring Richardson and Jones. Mike Baxter hit a blooper to left field that scored Nicolas.
USC answered with three more runs in the sixth, extending its lead to four, 8-4. The Gamecocks then added single runs in the seventh and ninth innings for the final 10-4 score.
"Once again, the sixth inning killed us," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "To beat that team (South Carolina), you have to bring your A-game, and we didn't do that today. We played hard but we have to regroup. We definitely have some questions to answer in the bullpen."
Vanderbilt starter Ryan Mullins recorded the loss and is now 3-2. He went 4.1 innings giving up five runs (four earned) and struck out three. Matt Buschmann provided relief in 2.1 innings and gave up four runs (one earned) on three hits and struck out three. Tyler Rhoden went 1.1 innings and gave up one hit, while Ryan Rote pitched the final inning giving up one run (one earned) on two hits. Chad Blackwell notched the win for the Gamecocks and is now 2-1 on the season. Blackwell worked 4.2 innings in relief and allowed four hits while striking out four and walking two while giving up no runs.
USC's Landon Powell hit a lead-off home run in the second inning for the first score of the game and the Gamecocks added another run in the third when Bryan Triplett scored on a Powell sacrifice fly.
The Commodores scored one in the third when Cesar Nicolas' single scored Ryan Klosterman who reached base on a single to left field followed by a steal. Klosterman moved to third on a Warner Jones fly out to right field.
Nicolas led VU hitters with three hits and three RBI with one run scored. Warner Jones and Mike Baxter each collected two hits in the game.
Vanderbilt will return to action Monday when the Commodores play the Nashville Sounds in an exhibition game at Greer Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Admission is by donation only and with the proceeds going to the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.