Sophomore Noah Campbell took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right field for a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth as the University of South Carolina baseball team walked off Utah Valley, 6-5, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23) at Founders Park. Campbell helped the Gamecocks win their second game of the year in walk-off fashion.
Utah Valley scored three runs on four hits in the top of the ninth to take a 5-4 lead. Brady Allen opened the ninth with a walk. He then went to second on a balk from Wolverine pitcher Jesse Schmit. Chris Cullen moved Allen to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a strikeout, Campbell ended the game with his two-run blast, his second home run in as many games.
South Carolina opened the game with a run in the bottom of the first as Luke Berryhill singled home Quinntin Perez. TJ Hopkins tripled to right in the third, scoring Perez again to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Utah Valley tied the game at two in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from Alexander Marco and Mick Madsen and a run-scoring wild pitch. Carolina came back to take the lead in the sixth on Berryhill’s second home run of the season. Cullen’s first blast of the year gave the Gamecocks a 4-2 lead in the seventh before the wild ninth inning.
Perez and Berryhill had two hits apiece to lead Carolina, while Berryhill joined Campbell with two RBI. On the mound, John Gilreath earned the win in relief, striking out a batter and allowing a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Dylan Harley started the game for Carolina, striking out six in four-plus innings of work with three hits and two runs allowed.
Campbell’s two-run home run in the ninth gave the Gamecocks the win, but Brady Allen opened the inning with a seven-pitch walk. Chris Cullen also had a sacrifice bunt that moved Allen just 90 feet away at third base.
Carolina had four more extra-base hits on the day with a triple and three home runs. The Gamecocks now have 11 home runs after six games this year.
Campbell’s home run is the fifth of his career and the first of the walk-off variety. Campbell has six RBI this season.
This is the second walk-off for the Gamecocks this season. A walk-off wild pitch led Carolina to a 3-2 win over Liberty on Feb. 17.
TJ Hopkins and Jacob Olson have hits in all six games this year.
Carolina had 10 strikeouts to just two walks in the game. Harley struck out six while Cam Tringali had three punchouts and John Gilreath had one.
South Carolina and Utah Valley conclude the three-game series on Sunday (Feb. 24) with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch at Founders Park.