2023 Garnet and Black Spring Game-001.jpg

(Photo Credit: Amada Cooper/Cola Daily)

Spring practice for the football team concluded Saturday night with the annual Garnet and Black Game played in front of an estimated 51,000 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Black came out on top in overtime 19-17 after the Garnet rallied from a 17-0 deficit to tie the game on a 45 yard interception return by Colin Bryant with 5:09 to play.

The teams went right to the two-point play overtime format. The Black scored on their second possession with DJ Twitty running in from the three for the winning two points.

Starting quarterback Spencer Rattler played a little more than a quarter and completed 12 of 20 passes for 120 yards and 1 touchdown. Tanner Bailey threw a 34 yard touchdown pass to Juice Wells, and Dante Miller scored on a 6 yard run to account for the game’s other touchdowns. Alex Herrera had a 39 yard field goal and Mitch Jeter hit from 23 yards out for the rest of the points.

The baseball team, ranked as high as #3 nationally this week, split their first two games at Vanderbilt and will try to win the series Sunday afternoon in Nashville. The Gamecocks scored 11 straight runs Friday night overcoming a 4-2 deficit to win 14-6. The Gamecocks hit five home runs, two by Cole Messina and one each by Ethan Petry, his 17th, Michael Braswell and Carson Hornung. Will Sanders picked up his third win.

Saturday it was the Gamecocks time to blow an early lead. They scored 4 first inning runs only to see the Commodores plate the next 8 with the help of 4 USC errors, and Vandy went on to an 8-5 win to even the series.

Earlier in the week the Gamecocks downed Upstate 7-2 with Dylan Brewer and Ethan Petry clubbing home runs. Matthew Becker earned the victory. USC is now 30-5 overall and 10-3 in the SEC.

The softball team clinched their first series win over 23rd ranked Texas A&M since 2014 with a walk-off 1-0 win Saturday at Beckham Field. Zoe Laneaux drove in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, her 4th hit of the game. Friday, the Gamecocks downed the Aggies 6-2 and will go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday in Columbia, the Gamecocks had the chance to score their first ever win over Clemson. They led 2-1 in the top of the 7th, but with two outs and two strikes, Valerie Cagle ripped a three run homer to put the 6th ranked Tigers on top and they went on to a 4-3 victory. The Gamecocks are 29-12 overall and 6-8 in the SEC.

The track team concluded the 2023 Tom Jones Memorial on Saturday afternoon, competing in 16 total events for the final day. The women competed in nine events in Gainesville, finishing Top-10 in five of the nine. One of the highlights on the day was Sylvia Chelangat running the fastest 800-meter time in Gamecock history, clocking 2:02.58 to finish fourth overall and rank fourth in the East Region. KD Young brought home a pair of Top-10 finishes, including bronze in the women’s shot put after throwing 15.83m (51-11.25).

The men’s team was highlighted by a silver medal finish in the 400m by Evan Miller, running 45.14 to improve on his third-place mark in program history. In addition, Miller now ranks second in the East Region.

On Friday, Dylan Targgart set another personal best in the shot put, tossing 19.89m (65-3.25). Targgart passed Gamecock great Eric Favors for the third longest throw in South Carolina history, while also ranking third in the East Region. In the women’s 5,000 meter, Gabriella Gait-Smith finished with silver medalist honors following a personal-best time of 17:17.16. (From USC)

Beach volleyball Saturday defeated Jacksonville 5-0 and the College of Charleston 4-1 to close out the regular season. Friday the Gamecocks took a pair of 3-2 wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks are 18-10 and will compete next in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association tournament starting April 27th in Huntsville, AL.

The women’s golf team lost to Texas A&M 3-2 Saturday afternoon in the match-play semi-finals of the SEC Tournament in Birmingham. Mathilde Claisse lost in 23 holes in the match that determined the outcome. Earlier in the day USC downed Auburn in the quarterfinals 3-2. The Gamecocks finished T7 during the stroke play portion of the event. Next up will be the NCAA regionals.

The men’s team used Monday to make up for a rain out and hosted Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb for a three-team, one-day event at the Camden Country Club. The Gamecocks led the way with a team score of ten under par. Rafe Reynolds was the medalist at five under 65.

The 9th ranked men’s tennis team knocked off 24th ranked Texas A&M 4-1 Thursday night in College Station for their first ever road win over the Aggies. After dropping the doubles point, the Gamecocks swept the singles. The win snapped a two match losing streak with the Gamecocks coming off a 6-1 loss at home to Tennessee last Sunday. The Gamecocks are 18-5 overall and 7-4 in the SEC and will host Florida Sunday.

Women’s tennis dropped a 5-2 decision at Auburn Friday. Last Sunday the Gamecocks lost at Tennessee 4-1. They are 12-9 overall and 7-5 in the SEC and will close out the regular season Sunday at Alabama.

The season for the equestrian team ended in the quarterfinals of the NECA Nationals in Ocala, FL Thursday with a 13-7 loss to 2nd ranked Auburn. The Gamecocks were 5-9 overall and 1-5 in conference competition this season.

Seven Gamecocks earned honors and awards from the four SEC coaches: Trinity Hammerschmidt (Flat) and Emma Lane (Reining) were named to the All-SEC Team; Natalie Jayne was named Freshman Fences Rider of the Year / All-Freshman (Fences); Mary Hunter Millet (Flat), Alyssa Jipping (Horsemanship) and Carly Jenkins (Horsemanship) were named to the All-Freshman Team; and Emilia Reutimann was named to the Community Service Team.

The swimming & diving team placed five on the All-SEC Teams on Wednesday, the most the team has had since 2019. The Gamecocks placed one on the First Team, three on the Second Team, and one on the Freshman team. Representing the team on the All-SEC First Team was graduate diver Brooke Schultz. Schultz swept the springboards at the SEC Championships. She was also named SEC Diver of the Meet for her efforts.

On the All-SEC Second Team for the women was fellow diver Sophie Verzyl. Verzyl earned the first SEC medal of her career this season, placing second on the 3-meter board.

Also on the All-SEC Second Team, representing the men’s team, was sophomore swimmer Michael Laitarovsky and senior diver Manny Vazquez Bas. Laitarovsky earned his spot on the team placing third in the 100 back, taking the bronze medal. Vazquez Bas secured his spot on the team with his second-place finish on the platform event. His silver-medal winning performance also set a new school record with a score of 432.75.

The final entry on the All-SEC team is Charley Bayer who made his way onto the All-Freshman Team. Bayer made the finals of the 3-meter competition at the SEC Championships where he placed seventh overall. (From USC)

In a move that was expected by most WNBA and college basketball observers, Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston was selected no. 1 in Monday’s draft by the Indiana Fever. Just a few minutes later, Laeticia Amihere was taken at no. 8 by the Atlanta Dream and Zia Cooke (3-time All-SEC) went 10th to the Los Angeles Sparks. Defensive stalwart Brea Beal was selected in the second round, 24th overall, by the Minnesota Lynx. Victaria Saxton, the Gamecocks all-time leader in games played, went one pick later at no. 25 to the Indiana Fever. The five draft selections marks a new high for the South Carolina program.

USC announced Wednesday that the women’s basketball team will face Notre Dame in Paris, France, on Monday, November 6th. The historic matchup will mark the first time an NCAA regular-season basketball game has been played on Parisian soil.

Dawn Staley also announced the hiring of Winston Gandy from Duke as a new assistant coach. He replaces Fred Chmiel who was named the new head coach at Bowling Green earlier in the week.

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