South Carolina drops Ole Miss

Published 8:47 am Friday, March 25, 2016

OXFORD — South Carolina came to town and slowed Ole Miss’ roll.

Gene Cone went 3-for-4 with a home run, and South Carolina beat Ole Miss 5-1 on Thursday night to hand the Rebels just their second loss in 17 games.

Cone walked and scored in the first inning, then hit a solo home run in the second as South Carolina (21-2, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) never trailed.

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Ole Miss (20-3, 2-2) had plenty of chances. It totaled 11 hits, but left 11 runners on base including five in scoring position. The Rebels left two runners on in the eighth inning and hit into a double play in the ninth after Cameron Dishon led off with a single.

J.B. Woodman drove in Ole Miss’ only run with a single in the fourth inning. Junior catcher Henri Lartigue went 4-for-4.

South Carolina pitcher Clarke Schmidt (5-0) threw 6 2/3 innings, holding the Rebels to a single run and recording eight strikeouts. Josh Reagan pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his seventh save of the season.

“Clarke gutted it out, pitched well,” South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “They got 11 hits and only one run. We escaped some innings, they hit some balls on the nose that were caught. He has some toughness about him. He is just a great competitor. He bowed his neck in some big situations when they had some runners on base.”

John Jones and Jonah Bride had two hits apiece, and both Gamecocks reached base four times throughout the night. Bride singled in Cone with the Gamecocks’ first run, and doubled and scored on another double by Chris Cullen in the ninth inning.

Ole Miss and South Carolina will continue their series Friday night at 6:30 p.m., and wrap things up Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Texas A&M 6, LSU 1

Jace Vines allowed one run in six innings, Boomer White went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and No. 2 Texas A&M (20-2, 3-1 SEC) beat 10th-ranked LSU (15-6, 1-3) in the opener of a series between top-10 teams in Texas.

J.B. Moss went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for Texas A&M, while Ryne Birk had two hits and scored a run.

Moss, Birk and White, the first three hitters in the Aggies’ order, were a combined 11-for-13 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

LSU starter Jared Poche’ only allowed two runs in five innings of work, but struggled. He gave up five hits and four walks and threw 102 pitches.

Jake Fraley went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored for the Tigers.