KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After falling behind early in Sunday's series finale, the Tennessee Volunteers used a late rally and six-run sixth inning to come from behind and post a series-clinching 10-4 win over South Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Tennessee moves to 18-21 on the season and 7-14 in SEC competition, while South Carolina (26-19) slips to 9-12 in SEC play. With the win, the Volunteers claimed their first series win over the Gamecocks since taking two of three games from May 12-14, 2006, as well as their first series win over USC in Knoxville since 2005.
The Vols combined for 13 hits against the Gamecocks, led by shortstop A.J. Simcox (3-for-4, 2 RBI), designated hitter Andrew Lee (2-for-4, 2-2B, 2 RBI), center fielder Chris Hall (2-for-4, RBI) and first baseman Parker Wormsley (2-for-4, 3 RBI).
In the first inning, South Carolina put up a three spot to take a 3-0 lead on a two-run triple by left fielder Elliott Caldwell.
The Vols answered in the bottom of the third frame, as second baseman Nick Senzel beat out the throw on an infield hit and scored on an RBI-triple by Simcox. For the second day in a row, third baseman Jordan Rodgers knocked a clutch RBI-single through the right side, plating Simcox to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
The top of the order came through again for Tennessee in the sixth, as the Vols scored six runs on six hits to pull ahead of South Carolina. Senzel and Simcox reached via walk and a base hit before left fielder Christin Stewart hit an RBI-double to right field. With runners on second and third and no outs, designated hitter Lee then blasted a deep fly ball off of the right-center field wall and gave the Vols a 5-3 lead.
The Vols' sixth-inning rally continued with an RBI-single by center fielder Chris Hall, scoring Lee from third. New third baseman Jared Pruett then knocked a base hit up the middle, putting UT runners on second and third with one out. First baseman Parker Wormsley then roped a ball back up the middle and beat the throw for an infield hit, scoring Hall from third to make it a 7-3 advantage. Back-to-back walks gave Tennessee an 8-3 lead before the end of the frame.
The bottom half of UT's lineup sparked another rally in the seventh, as Rodgers and Hall scored on a two-run double by Wormsley to give Tennessee a 10-4 lead.
Left-handed starter Drake Owenby dealt 2.0 innings against South Carolina, allowing three runs on four hits before his exit. Despite surrendering three extra-base hits, Owenby recorded three big strikeouts in the outing, including a bases-loaded, two-out strikeout in his final frame.
In relief, righty Kyle Serrano entered in the third and threw 5.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits with five strikeouts to earn the win. His 5.0 frames marked his longest-career relief outing, as well as his longest outing of the season since he threw 5.0 against Grand Canyon University on March 8.
Freshman Jacob Westphal went to the hill in the eighth and threw 2.0 scoreless inning, holding the Gamecocks to preserve the win for UT.
This week, Tennessee hosts Xavier in a midweek matchup at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, beginning Wednesday, April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. The Vols will then welcome Texas A&M for a three-game SEC weekend series in Knoxville from Friday, May 1 - Sunday, May 3.