COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 14th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks completed the series sweep with a 3-1 win over No. 17 Kentucky, on Sunday afternoon in front of 8,024 at Carolina Stadium.
Kentucky (24-15, 7-11 Southeastern Conference) was swept at the hands of South Carolina during the weekend, falling in the opener, 5-2 and suffering a 7-6, 11-inning loss in the second game. After UK took the lead in the fourth inning on Sunday, the Gamecocks immediately answered with a two-run homer from LB Dantzler in the bottom half of the frame.
UK starter Corey Littrell (4-3) suffered the loss in his 10th start of the year. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Louisville, Ky., moved into a tie for 10th place in UK career history with his 39th career start. Littrell worked his 21st career quality start and his seventh of 2013, working 7.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs, walking five and striking out three. Senior Walter Wijas took over for Littrell, getting the final out in the eighth.
The Wildcats, who turned a season-high four double plays, plated one run on 10 hits in the game, with Zac Zellers and A.J. Reed contributing multiple-hit games. Reed, who went 3-for-4, drove in UK’s run with a double in the fourth, with UK also getting singles from Lucas Witt, J.T. Riddle, Matt Reida, Max Kuhn and Paul McConkey.
South Carolina (31-10, 11-7 SEC) freshman left-handed starter Jack Wynkoop (5-2) picked up the win with a career-high eight innings, working around eight minutiae singles and an RBI double from Reed. Wynkoop did not allow a walk and struck out three with one unearned run scoring. Righty Colby Holmes walked one to start the ninth, before closer Tyler Webb entered to pick up the save, his 12th.
An error in the top of the fourth led to Kentucky’s first run of the afternoon. Leading off the inning, Cousino grounded to first base and a Dantzler bobble allowed Austin Cousino to reach first on the error. The sophomore took second on a stolen base, his 11th of the year, and Reed brought him home by driving a double into the right-centerfield gap.
South Carolina responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs to take the lead. Joey Pankake lined a single into left-centerfield to lead off the inning and Dantzler brought him home with two-run home run over the centerfield wall.
The Gamecocks added another run in the fifth with two outs. Graham Saiko reached base on a two-out walk and then moved into scoring position when a Chase Vergason single up the middle put him on second. Pankake singled through the right side to score Saiko from second but Reed was able to cut the Zellers throw and nab Vergason attempting to take third, ending the inning and limiting the damage to one run.
GAME NOTES: Kentucky turned its 40th double play of the year in the first inning … UK turned its 41st double play of the year in the second … UK turned its 42nd double play in the fifth … UK turned its 43rd double play in the sixth … UK turned a season-high four double plays … South Carolina extends its all-time series lead with UK to 44-32, including a 26-10 mark in Columbia … UK drops to 5-7 on the road, including a 2-7 mark in the SEC … UK is now 19-9 in day games … UK is now 7-7 against left-handed starting pitching … UK drops to 3-8 against top-25 teams … UK falls to 18-7 when scoring first … UK is now 6-3 on Sunday and 1-2 in its black and gray uniform combination.