From staff reports/Photo by Allen Sharpe
South Carolina fell to Missouri 5-3 Saturday, setting up a critical Game 3 for both teams on Sunday.
The Gamecocks, 30-20 and 12-14 in the SEC, will try again to win their first conference series in seven weeks. South Carolina, which won Game 1 behind the pitching of Wil Crowe, has lost six straight SEC series.
Missouri, 30-21 and 10-16, was led by ace pitcher Tanner Houck, who struck out 10 batters in a complete-game win.
The Gamecocks got home runs from Jacob Olson and Carlos Cortes but it was not enough against Houck, one of the top pitchers in the SEC. Houck walked just one and allowed three runs on five hits to improve to 4-7 for the season. Adam Hill allowed four runs on five hits in falling to 3-5 for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina led 3-1 when Missouri scored a pair of runs to tie it after Hill walked the lead-off batter in the fifth. The Tigers took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a solo homer by Kameron Misner and added an insurance run in the seventh.
South Carolina did not have a runner reach second base after the fifth inning off Houck.
“Through four and a half innings we had it about right where we wanted to but Missouri fought back and you have to give them credit," South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook said. "Houck is awfully good and he was on his game today."
Game 3 is set for 2 p.m. ET Sunday.