Aggies Triumph 5-2 at South Carolina to Clinch Series

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-15 15:40:18-04

COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Turner Larkins and Andrew Vinson held the No. 8 South Carolina Gamecocks to three hits as the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies clinched the series win with a 5-2 victory Saturday evening at Founders Park.

Larkins went 4.2 innings as the starter, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four. Vinson (3-2) allowed just two baserunners in 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win. He allowed one hit that was erased with a double play and one walk while striking out three. Texas A&M pitchers have held opponents to two runs and eight hits over the last three games.

Ryne Birk led the Aggies at the plate going 3-for-4 with one double, one home run, three runs and two RBI.

With the win, the Texas A&M (39-10, 18-8 SEC) ends the day with a half-game lead over Florida (17-8 SEC) in the overall league standings and a one-game lead over Mississippi State (17-9 SEC) in the Western Division standings.

South Carolina (37-13, 16-9 SEC) broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the third inning. T.J. Hopkins started the frame with a single to leftfield and stole second base. Gene Cone was hit by a pitch and after Marcus Mooney flied to left for the first out of the inning a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position. Alex Destino hit a grounder to first base to plate Hopkins for the 1-0 lead. It snapped a string of 21 consecutive shutout innings for Aggie pitchers.

Texas A&M wrangled the lead from South Carolina in the top of the fourth. Nick Choruby started the inning by bouncing a single up the middle and he moved to second on an errant throw on a pickoff attempt. Choruby came around to score the tying run when second baseman Madison Stokes misplayed a grounder by Boomer White. After Hunter Melton flied to leftfield for the first out of the inning, Birk hit a titanic blast to rightfield for his sixth home run of the season, staking the Aggies to a 3-1 lead.

The Gamecocks shaved a run off the Aggie lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Stokes hit his first home run of the season, a solo job to leftfield, to cut the margin to 3-2.

Texas A&M added an insurance run in the sixth with a single by Nick Banks and another in the eight with a sacrifice fly by Ronnie Gideon

South Carolina starter Braden Webb worked 5.2 innings, yielding four runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven.

The Aggies go for the series sweep on Sunday with a 3:02 pm Central first pitch at Founders Park.