It took five pitchers, but the Gamecocks generated enough offense to top the Wildcats 2-1 in Columbia tonight.
Freshman Joel Seddon got his first start of the season, throwing four innings and surrendering only one run on four hits. He began the game by striking out the side, tying his career-high for K’s. He walked two batters and struck out four.
Forrest Koumas was the first reliever to take the field, and he pitched one perfect inning. He also earned the win and is now 2-2 on the season. Evan Beal was next on the mound and he stayed for two innings. He allowed one run, no hits, and issued a walk.
Tyler Webb took over for just 2/3 of an inning, where he gave up a hit and a walk. Koumas, Beal, and Webb each recorded a strikeout. Finally, Matt Price took the mound to close things out. He pitched 1 1/3 inning and allowed no hits or runs. He issued a walk and struck out two batters. Price earned his sixth save of the season.
Davidson’s starter, Brian Russell, took the loss and falls to 4-5. He surrendered two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out two.
Seddon wasn’t the only freshman on the lineup card tonight, as Ray Tanner started five other first-year guys as well. Never before had that many freshman started for Tanner at USC, but it clearly worked out.
The Wildcats got on the board first, earning their lone run in the top of the second inning. Carolina responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the third, when an Evan Marzilli sac fly brought Tanner English home. In the fourth, Kyle Martin brought Joey Pankake across the plate on a one-out double into right center to give the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead.
That left a lot of time for Davidson to get on the board again, but solid pitching from South Carolina’s staff mixed with a lack of offense from the Cats kept the Cocks on top.
USC outhit Davidson 6-5 and both teams left nine runners on base. English led Carolina at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored. He also stole two bases (side note: dude is FAST). This was his 16th multi-hit game of the season, a team high.
South Carolina is now 34-11 on the season. The next game for the Gamecocks is Friday night in Little Rock, where they’ll take on Arkansas in an important SEC match up. The game will be televised on ESPNU and the first pitch will be at 8 ET. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1 ET and will be broadcast on ESPN2. Sunday’s game is set to begin at 2:05 ET.
Some notes for the weekend: the pitching rotation is still TBA, injured first baseman Christian Walker should be good to go, and per David Cloninger, Reptar, of course, will be in attendance all weekend.