By: Michael Wunderlich
The Gamecock baseball team capped a statement weekend Sunday with a come-from-behind win over the nation's top-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores.
Head Coach Ray Tanner brought in closer Matt Price to start the seventh with the Gamecocks trailing by two.
The Sumter sophomore struck out seven over three scoreless innings to pick up the win.
"We actually talked about putting him in the sixth after the two home runs Vanderbilt hit. He was outstanding today on the mound and really came through for us late," said Tanner.
Carolina took the first game of the series on Friday three to one and dropped game two on Saturday six to four setting up a deciding game three Sunday.
The Commodores arrived in Columbia with a vaunted pitching staff and tough bullpen, but USC's bats came up big in the rubber match between two of the nation's top teams.
Jackie Bradley Jr. went two for five from the leadoff spot and knocked home a run.
Steven Neff made his hitting debut, doubling to start the Gamecocks' seventh inning rally.
"It felt good to get that hit today," said Neff. "It was a close game, and batting leadoff you want to try to get on base and get something started by making contact. I saw the pitch down the middle and made good contact."
Following Neff's double to start the inning, the Gamecocks would bring home three runs against a highly touted Vanderbilt bullpen, putting Carolina up by two and giving Price all the support he needed.
"I'm extremely proud of our players for battling when we couldn't seem to get it going early on," Tanner said. "We just willed our way to being successful today."
The win puts Carolina on top of the standings in the SEC Eastern division, and puts the Gamecocks in the discussion to be ranked top in the nation.