COLUMBIA -- Sophomore right-hander Evan Beal retired 14 consecutive batters at one point and combined with three Gamecock relievers for a one-hit shutout as sixth-ranked South Carolina defeated Rider 2-0 on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina pitchers have produced three shutouts in the last four games.
Beal struck out six and allowed one hit in six-plus innings for the Gamecocks (11-2). Senior lefty Tyler Webb picked up his fourth save after pitching 2 1/3 perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts.
Tyler Smith went the distance and took the loss for Rider (6-2), giving up seven hits and striking out eight.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
Graham Saiko and Chase Vergason each went 2 for 4 for USC. Joey Pankake had an RBI single.
The second game of the series is set for 4 p.m. Saturday.