MO State HS Sports

Gamecocks Rally Past Baseball for Series-Opening Victory

Brock Daniels

COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 14 South Carolina rode Cole Messina’s five RBIs and a strong performance by its pitching staff to a 10-2 victory over University of Missouri baseball Friday evening in the opening game of the two clubs’ Southeastern Conference series at Taylor Stadium.

Messina snapped a 2-2 deadlock with a two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning, then capped the Gamecocks’ critical five-run eighth-inning rally with a three-run home run. Five South Carolina pitchers combined to strike out 17 Mizzou hitters, led by 4.0 innings of one-hit relief by Ty Good (5-1), who fanned seven Tigers in earning the mound victory.

Thanks to Good and fellow relievers Garrett Gainey and Parker Marlatt, the Tigers tallied just two hits over a seven-inning span after MU touched up starting pitcher Roman Kimball for a pair of second-inning home runs.

The Tigers answered a two-out USC scoring rally in the second with back-to-back round-trippers from Mateo Serna and Jackson Lovich in the home half of the inning to claim a 2-1 lead.

Ethan Petry responded with a solo shot to left-center on Logan Lunceford’s first pitch of the third inning. Lunceford (1-5) worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but ran into trouble in the fifth after hitting Gavin Casas to open the inning and issuing a one-out walk to Petry. The Tigers right-hander recovered to strike out Parker Noland for the second out, but Messina lined a 3-1 offering just inside the third-base bag and into the left-field corner, chasing home both baserunners for a 4-2 Gamecocks lead.

After adding a run in the sixth on one of Talmadge LeCroy’s three hits in the game, the Gamecocks broke the game wide open in the seventh, thanks in large part to a pair of defensive miscues. LeCroy played a key role once again, starting the rally with a leadoff double before scoring on Austin Brinling’s single. Mizzou errors on back-to-back at-bats added another run, and Messina made the Tigers pay with his 13th homer of the season to right-center, hiking the USC lead to eight runs.

The Tigers generated several scoring opportunities, putting at least one runner in scoring in five of the last six innings. But the quartet of South Carolina relievers executed each time, as Mizzou finished the game just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.


  • With the setback, the Tigers dropped to 13-21 all-time vs. South Carolina.
  • MU suffered just its second home loss in its last nine games against the Gamecocks at Taylor Stadium (dating back to 2017).
  • Lovich (2-for-4) tallied his third straight two-hit game and the 14th multi-hit effort of his Mizzou career.
  • Lovich’s second-inning homer hiked his season total to eight.
  • Serna belted his fourth home run as a Tiger—his third in his last seven starts (since April 16.
  • Serna has reached safely in eight-straight games, with at least one hit in all but one of those contests (since April 9).
  • With Lovich and Serna going deep to start the second inning, the Tigers notched back-to-back homers for the first time since Brock Daniels and Lovich teamed up to accomplish feat on March 10 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne.
  • Mizzou’s three errors matched a season high (March 9 vs. PFW and April 11 at Georgia).

The Tigers and Gamecocks are scheduled to square off again at 3 p.m. (CDT) Saturday for game two of the series. Mizzou will recognize the 70th anniversary of its 1954 national championship squad and returning baseball alums as part of pregame Alumni Day festivities. Single-game tickets for all remaining 2024 home contests are on sale now via phone at 1-800-CAT-PAWS or by visiting

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics