All game, any time North Carolina took the lead, South Carolina was able to bounce back and tie the game in the next half-inning.
But when the Gamecocks needed to late, they couldn’t, and it resulted in an extra-inning loss to North Carolina in Charlotte.
The Gamecocks (19-8, 6-3 SEC) gave up a RBI single in the 10th inning Tuesday night in a 10-inning loss to the Tar Heels, 3-2.
“Great ballgame. I thought both teams pitched well. They got one more hit at the end than we did,” South Carolina coach Mark Kingston said. “The defense on both sides in that game was really good. Pitching was really good. Hitting on both sides struggled some and in the end, they got one more hit.”
After South Carolina missed a chance to win the game in the ninth with a one-out double, North Carolina struck in extras with two of the first three batters in the inning reaching base on balls that didn’t leave the infield.
Caleb Roberts singled home the winning run off Julian Bosnic (2-2, 4.74 ERA), who gave up the lone run on three hits in two innings pitched.
The Gamecocks couldn’t get anything going in the 10th, going down in order to drop their first midweek game in three weeks.
South Carolina was able to force extras in large part because of the pitching, which gave up just three runs on nine hits with 10 strikeouts.
“We need to do a better job to take advantage of that,” Kingston said.
After giving up a run in the first, the Gamecocks evened things up in the bottom of the inning without the benefit of a hit. Brady Allen led things off with a walk before scoring on a Wes Clarke sacrifice fly.
The Gamecocks went hitless until Andrew Eyster singled through the right side with two outs in the fourth inning. Their next hit came in the sixth when Josiah Sightler cranked a 396-foot solo shot to center to tie the game.
They mustered just one more hit the rest of the game — a one-out double in the ninth from David Mendham — but couldn’t do anything after that.
South Carolina went hitless in nine at-bats with runners on base and 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. They did walk six times but struck out eight and left six on base.
“We were a little too anxious tonight. I don’t know if it’s because we were coming off a weekend where we hit a lot of home runs and wanted to do it again in this big, fancy ballpark,” Kingston said. “We weren’t quite as selective as we normally are tonight. I think that cost us. We only had eight strikeouts but we chased a lot of balls and put balls in play weakly, which we normally don’t do. I thought that was the difference.”
The Gamecocks got what they needed to from starter Jack Mahoney, who settled down after getting in some trouble in the first.
Mahoney gave up four straight hits to open the game, including a leadoff triple and RBI single, but pitched out of the jam allowing just one run before pitching three scoreless innings.
“I thought he showed a lot of poise in the first inning with the bases loaded and we only gave up the one run," Kingston said. "He really settled in after that. He showed a glimpse of what he’d be in the future. He still has some things to work on but he was outstanding. I thought he was very, very good for us.”
South Carolina hosts Missouri in a three-game series this weekend, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Founders Park.