There wasn’t a whole bunch of offense from either team today, but a three-run homer from Kyle Martin helped push South Carolina past this visiting Blue Hose for a 4-0 victory at Carolina Stadium.
Despite both teams having runners on base and in scoring position, the game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when the Cocks finally got on the board. Martin led off with a single, Grayson Greiner drew a walk, and Connor Bright smacked what appeared to be a home run but was actually an RBI double to left field, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
After a quick top of the seventh inning for PC, USC got just one hit in the bottom of the inning – but it was all they needed. After Max Schrock and Joey Pankake walked with two outs, Martin came through with a long ball to right field, clearing the bases, padding the lead for the Gamecocks, and more than making up for an earlier base-running blunder. Each team recorded just one more hit after that.
While neither offense was exactly high-powered today, the pitching on both sides was tremendous. Blue Hose starter Brian Kehner, making his first career appearance, was really impressive, keeping the Carolina bats pretty quiet. For his part, Yardcocks hurler Curt Britt worked his way out of trouble more than once for a nice season debut.
Britt worked 5 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, no runs, walked two batters, struck out three, and had one wild pitch. Josh Reagan tossed 2 1/3 innings and surrendered just one hit while tallying two Ks. He also earned the win, the first of his career, and is 1-0 on the season. Cody Mincey closed things out for South Carolina, and he gave up one hit and struck out three batters.
Kehner lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed four hits, one run, issued three walks, tallied six K’s, was charged with a balk, and hit two batters. He takes the loss and drops to 0-1 on the season. Paul Sanders, Trey Hayes, and Aaron Lesiak went the rest of the way for Presbyterian and surrendered a combined two hits and three runs, walked four batters, and Lesiak was the only one to register a strike out.
Martin, Bright, and Elliott Caldwell each had two hits and were the only Cocks to record a hit today. Jacob Midkiff also had two hits for the Blue Hose. Five different USC players have now homered this year, Bright has a team-high eight RBI this season (Martin and Greiner are close behind with seven apiece) and Martin’s .692 batting average leads the team in that category. The Gamecocks’ pitching staff has a combined ERA of 1.50 and has not allowed a run in 24 straight innings.
Carolina will return to action when they host Eastern Kentucky this weekend. Friday’s game is set to begin at 3 p.m., first pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m., and Sunday’s game will start at 1:30 p.m.
One other quick baseball-related note: freshman pitcher Wil Crowe was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week following his performance against Bucknell. Congrats to Wil!