COLUMBIA, S.C. – Curt Casali had two hits, two RBIs and one run scored but Vanderbilt lost 8-5  to South Carolina on Friday.
Casali scored in the eighth and drove in a run in the ninth as the Commodores attempted to rally against Gamecocks’ starter Sam Dyson. With two outs in the ninth and Casali on third, Dyson was replaced by Alex Farotto who struck out the first batter he faced, Aaron Westlake, to end the game.
Jonathan White had three hits and a run scored, and Steven Liddle had two hits, including a first-inning home run, which gave Vanderbilt (27-18, 10-11) a 1-0 lead.
South Carolina (28-18, 10-12) scored seven runs on nine hits against Commodores’ starter Mike Minor, who lost for the first time in five starts. Minor struck out just one and walked four in 5.2 innings.
The Gamecocks hit three home runs, all off Minor. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a two-run shot in the first, and Justin Dalles and Nick Ebert followed with lead-off home runs in the second and third, respectively, as USC built an early 7-2 advantage.
The game was the first of a three-game weekend series between the SEC  Eastern Division teams, both of which are fighting to make the SEC tournament.