HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 5 seed South Carolina avoided elimination with a 4-2 comeback victory against No. 12 seed Missouri in the opening round of the SEC baseball tournament.
The teams battled into the early morning hours of Wednesday, with the game wrapping up at 1:38 a.m. CT, making it the fourth-latest ending in SEC tournament history.
After three scoreless innings, Brian Sharp's RBI groundout and Chad McDaniel's RBI single in the fourth inning built a 2-0 advantage for the Tigers.
Jacob Olson started the Gamecocks' comeback with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth.
Carlos Cortes drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. The next two batters, Madison Stokes and Jonah Bride, each brought a run across the plate to give South Carolina the lead. The Gamecocks pulled ahead on Stokes' sacrifice fly and increased their advantage to 4-2 on an RBI single by Bride.
"Throughout the game we were putting together a lot of good at-bats, but we weren't able to put them all together at once," said Bride. "I think that (seventh) inning we got a lot of guys on and we were able to drive them in. Just a lot of quality at-bats."
South Carolina freshman right-hander Carmen Mlodzinski pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts. Gamecocks reliever Eddy Demurias (6-0) was credited with the win and Graham Lawson earned his second save of the season.
UP NEXT: South Carolina advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and will face No. 4 seed Arkansas in the fourth game of the second round on Wednesday on SEC Network.