HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 3 seed Kentucky beat No. 11 seed South Carolina 7-2 in Game 5 of the SEC Tournament.
Kentucky's Kole Cottam went 2-for-3, including the go-ahead solo home run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
"I was trying to keep my approach and stay right center and he threw a fast ball, kind of middle up, and I just hit it well," said Cottam.
Kentucky snaps a three-game SEC Tournament losing streak, winning its tournament opener for the first time since 2014.
The Wildcats have now outscored the Gamecocks 36-12 over four games this season.
Kentucky and South Carolina both put a pair of runs on the board in the third inning putting the game all square at 2-2 heading into the fourth.
The Gamecocks' two runs came after LHP Brad Schaenzer walked TJ Hopkins and Carlos Cortes. Freshman Riley Hogan loaded the bases with a single to left center before Alex Destino flied out to center field, bringing Hopkins across the plate. Jonah Bride followed that up with an RBI double to put the Gamecocks up 2-0.
Kentucky responded with singles by leadoff batter Connor Heady and then Tristan Pompey. Evan White brought Heady across the plate with a groundout. The Wildcats tied the game when Luke Becker reached on a fielding error and Pompey crossed the plate for an unearned run.
After Cottam's homer gave the Cats a one-run lead, Evan White put the game out of reach when he blasted a 3 RBI double to right center in the sixth.
"I was just really not trying to do too much," said White. "In my previous at bats I felt like I was yanking off the ball a little bit. I try to do too much with RBI situation. That's something we talked about before the game, not try to do too much and stay within myself."
UP NEXT: South Carolina will play the loser between No. 10 seed Missouri and No. 2 seed LSU in an elimination game. First pitch is tentatively scheduled for Thursday at 2 pm ET on SEC Network.
Kentucky will play the winner between Missouri and LSU. That matchup is tentatively scheduled to start Thursday at 9 pm ET on SEC Network.