Grayson Greiner is becoming accustomed to playing the hero.
His pinch-hit single in the ninth lifted No. 2 South Carolina to a 2-1 win over Appalachian State on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. Evan Beal pitched well for the Gamecocks (5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) and Vince Fiori got the win in relief, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
But Greiner was the star again, even though he had the night off. Hitting for catcher Logan Koch, Greiner lined a 3-2 pitch to right to score Connor Bright and lift the Gamecocks to 25-3 on the season.
Greiner had the game-winning grand slam Saturday against Tennessee and turned around South Carolina’s rivalry series with Clemson with a grand slam.
His teammates have gotten used to Greiner’s heroics as well.
“When (Greiner) went up to the plate, I started untying my cleats and packing my stuff up,” Joey Pankake told reporters.
Top 25 Showdowns
(8) Texas at (12) Rice: Lukas Schiraldi gave up just two runs over 6 2/3 innings and Tres Barrera knocked in two runs as Texas won on the road at Reckling Park, 5-2. Ben Johnson and C.J. Hinojosa each had two hits for the Longhorns.
(11) Louisville at (22) Kentucky: Thomas Bernal hit his first career home run as part of a three-hit, four-RBI night, leading Kentucky to an 8-3 win in front of the fourth-largest crowd in UK history, 3,742, at Cliff Hagan Stadium. “He is a kid that appreciates what he is a part of and the kids respect him. He is a hard worker and a good player, which is a pretty good combination for us,” UK coach Gary Henderson said of Bernal. Louisville fell to 3-4 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI.
Top 25 Upsets
Florida Atlanta at (13) Florida: Freshman Cain Spangler stole home in the 11th innings as FAU won in Gainesville, 5-4. FAU had five doubles and freshman Esteban Puerta was 4-for-5. Florida put two on with no outs in the bottom of the ninth and had the potential game-winning run on third before the Owls thwarted the rally.
Other Top 25 Results
Florida Gulf Coast at (1) Florida State: John Nogowski homered as the Seminoles won, 8-3. The ’Noles used a six-run eighth to pull past FGCU. “I was just very pleased with our guys,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said. “Our guys came out there tonight, fell behind by three; could have folded it up and made excuses but they didn’t. I am very proud of the way our guys played.” Peter Miller struggled for FSU, but sophomore southpaw Dylan Silva was great (3.2, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K) in his longest outing. Silva, Gage Smith and Jameis Winston blanked FGCU over the final 7 2/3 innings.
Old Dominion at (3) Virginia: The Cavs won 7-1, in the makeup of a game that was rained out on March 5. Alex Bettinger was strong (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R) and Brandon Downes, Daniel Pinero and Joe McCarthy each knocked in two runs.
Tulane at (4) Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns tied a season-high with 22 hits and had seven extra-base hits, including three triples, in a 16-0 rout. Caleb Adams was 3-for-3 and has reached base in 24 consecutive games. “Tonight it was contagious,” ULL coach Tony Robichaux said. “I think it was set up with pitching and good defense. That’s what we really wanted coming off of an emotional weekend.” Senior Matt Hicks pitched three scoreless innings in his first career start.
Cal State Bakersfield at (5) Cal Poly: Slater Lee (6 1/3, 5 H, 1 R) was solid and Zack Zehner was 4-for-4 and drove in a run in the Mustangs’ 6-1 win.
(6) Oregon State at Portland: The Beavers won their 20th in a row over Portland as Dylan Davis drove in three runs and Jerad Casper had four hits, including a home run, in a 9-6 win.
Tennessee-Martin at (7) Vanderbilt: Walker Buehler pitched four scoreless innings and the Commodores scored all their runs in the fourth in a 5-0 blanking of Tennessee-Martin.
(10) Houston at Texas A&M: The Cougars used a five-run fourth to overcome an early deficit and win at College Station 10-8. Senior Frankie Ratcliff had three hits, including a home run, and four other Cougars had three hits.
Louisiana-Monroe at (15) Alabama: The Crimson Tide scored three in the third and held on to beat the Warhawks, 3-2. Tucker Hawley got the win, allowing two unearned runs in five innings, and the ‘Bama bullpen was strong with four hitless innings.
Furman at (16) Clemson: The Tigers broke open the game with five runs in the sixth en route to a 13-2 win. Zack Erwin, who came into the game in the second inning when starter Jake Long’s back tightened up, threw six scoreless innings. “Zach did a nice job slowing things down and putting zeroes on the board,” coach Jack Leggett said.
(19) Oregon at Gonzaga: Jordan Spencer threw three shutout innings, Mitchell Tolman went 2-for-4 and A.J. Balta and J.B. Bryant had an RBI apiece in Oregon’s 3-2 win.
(21) UCLA at Loyola Marymount: The Bruins stayed undefeated on the road as freshman Grant Dyer (5.2 IP, 9 H, 2 R) improved to 4-2 with a 5-3 win. UCLA has won 16 in a row on the road dating back to last season, but the Bruins are just 9-10 at home this season.