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Gamecocks fall 10-8 at The Citadel

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CHARLESTON, SC – Despite homers from Brison Celek and DC Arendas as well as seven hits and 10 walks at the plate, sixth ranked South Carolina fell to The Citadel 10-8 on Wednesday evening in non-conference action at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.  The Gamecocks fall to 28-9 with The Citadel now 15-23 overall.

Kyle Martin went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBI to lead the Gamecocks at the plate.  Celek was also 2-for-4 and Arendas reached base five times with a homer, three walks and a hit by pitch.  

The Citadel belted out 12 hits and benefited from eight walks and three Gamecock errors to score double-digits on South Carolina, just the second time this season the Gamecocks have allowed 10 or more runs.  Mason Davis went 3-for-4 with three runs, a homer and a pair of RBI.  Tyler Griffin added two hits and three RBI with Drew DeKerlegand also with a homer and two RBI to lead the Bulldogs. 

Austin Livingston earned the win for The Citadel and is now 2-4 on the year.  He allowed five runs, four earned, on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in five innings of work.  Skylar Hunter earned his seventh save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. South Carolina starter Matthew Vogel suffered the loss and is 0-1 for the season. He allowed five runs, four earned on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings.

The Citadel took a one-run lead in the bottom of the first. Davis led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Griffin's two-out RBI single up the middle.

Arendas tied the game with a solo homer in the second inning. Arendas jumped on the first pitch he saw with a blast to right field for his fourth homer of the season.

The Gamecocks broke ahead 2-1 in the third inning.  Tanner English led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  After a Gene Cone walk and with one out, English would score as the Gamecocks successfully executed a double steal.

The Bulldogs answered with a four-run frame to take a 5-2 lead.  A fielding error by Jordan Gore at second base and Davis' second hit of the evening opened the bottom of the third for The Citadel.  After a sacrifice bunt moved over Davis and Ryan Kilgallen, a walk to Bo Thompson and a walk to Tyler Griffin tied the game and ended the night for Vogel. 

Left-hander Vince Fiori would walk Drew DeKerlegand on four pitches and would have to come out of the game due to a sprained lat on his left side of his body.  Two more runs would then score for The Citadel as a fly ball by pinch hitter Connor Walsh would be lost in the lights and would fall in left-center for a single.

The Citadel made it 6-2 in the fourth inning with Davis driving in Calvin Orth with a sac fly to center field.

South Carolina responded with a three-run fifth inning to cut the deficit to a run.  Gene Cone drew a walk on an eight-pitch at bat followed by a walk to Elliott Caldwell on seven pitches.  That set the stage for Kyle Martin, who drove a 2-0 pitch into right field for a two-run double.  Martin eventually scored on Grayson Greiner's sac fly to left-center.

The Citadel would get two runs back in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-5.  Drew DeKerlegand led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run to right field, his second homer of the year to push the Bulldogs' lead back to two runs.  Ryan Kilgallen added a two-out RBI base hit.

Carolina countered in the sixth with two more runs to inch to within one run.  Brison Celek opened the frame with a bang with a solo homer to left field, his first homer of the year.  Walks to Arendas and Gore followed.  After Tanner English's sacrifice bunt, Arendas would score on a sacrifice fly by Gene Cone.

The Citadel however would score two more in the seventh to go ahead 10-7.  Davis hit a solo homer and Griffin added a two-out RBI double. 

The Gamecocks would plate a run in the top of the eighth inning benefitting from two Bulldog errors.  Gene Cone reached on shortstop Johnathan Stokes' fielding error and scored on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Bailey Rush.

South Carolina returns to SEC play this weekend with a three-game series at Auburn.  First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. ET on Friday.  Saturday's game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with a first pitch at 5 p.m. ET.  Sunday's series finale is 2 p.m. ET on CSS.  All three games can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."

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