Freshman right-hander Adam Hill pitched five scoreless innings to earn his second win of the year and was backed by an offense that belted out 15 hits as 13th-ranked South Carolina defeated The Citadel 6-3 on Tuesday at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. The Gamecocks improved to 9-0, with The Citadel falling to 5-2.
Hill allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out eight batters to improve to 2-0. He has 19 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched in two starts. Junior left-hander Josh Reagan pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the year.
The Citadel starter Jacob Watcher suffered the loss and is 1-1 for the season. He allowed four runs — all earned — on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout.
South Carolina raced ahead 4-0 in the top of the third inning. John Jones got things started with a one-out double to right-center and scored on Alex Destino’s RBI single into right field. Destino advanced to second on the play on a throwing error by Bulldog right fielder Austin Mapes. He then scored on Chris Cullen’s RBI double off the wall in left field that just missed clearing the wall for a homer. After a balk and a walk to Gene Cone, a RBI fielder’s choice by DC Arendas and an RBI single by Marcus Mooney gave the Gamecocks a four-run lead.
Carolina increased its lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning. Arendas reached base on a single and scored on Danny Blair’s RBI double down the left field line.
The Citadel cut into the Gamecocks lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on a three-run double by Drew Ellis. After loading the bases with one out, Ellis knocked a deep fly to left field that went off the wall to clear the bases. Carolina got a run back in the seventh inning to take a three-run lead. Bride came up with a two-out RBI single to score Dom Thompson-Williams.
The four-run third inning gave the Gamecocks the cushion they needed.
Nine different Gamecocks recorded at least one hit, with six different players driving in one run apiece.
Sophomore catcher John Jones’ streak of reaching base 14 consecutive times ended in the top of the first inning with a strikeout. Jones fought back, though, and was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored.
Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams tied his career-high with three hits at the plate.
Williams and sophomore third baseman Jonah Bride have each reached base in all nine games this year.
Freshman catcher Chris Cullen owns a team-high six-game hitting streak.
Five different Gamecocks had at least two hits. Jones, Destino, Cullen, Blair had two hits apiece with Thompson-Williams finishing with three.
Sophomore right-hander Brandon Murray pitched 2.2 perfect innings of relief with two strikeouts.
Head coach Chad Holbrook: “(Adam Hill) has been real special (in his first two starts). I thought he had a great fastball tonight. He showed great composure (early) when they had a man on third and one out. He competed real hard, pitched in a tough environment, I'm very proud of him.”
College baseball's premier rivalry is this weekend with South Carolina and Clemson meeting in a three-game series. Friday’s game is at Founders Park with first pitch set for 7 p.m. Game 2 will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Greenville. Sunday’s series finale will be at 2 p.m. at Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
USC Beaufort 19-20, Brewton-Parker 0-1
USCB continued the best start in program history Tuesday at Brewton-Parker, pounding the Barons in a non-conference doubleheader in Mount Vernon, Ga.
The Sand Sharks smacked 36 hits in the two games, improving to 16-2.
Nick Payne (4-for-6, four RBIs) and Brandon Joyce (4-for-5, three RBIs) led the way for USCB in the opener. Kal Davis hit a grand slam, Michael Johnson added three RBIs, and Thomas Estopare was 3-for-6 with an RBI. Zach Lomasney added a two-run single in the 12-run fifth inning.
Justin Kortessis was the winning pitcher, allowing three hits over five innings with five strikeouts. Paxton Buckner and Colin Tindall each worked a scoreless frame in relief.
Matt Kianka (3-for-4, three RBIs), Joyce (2-for-4, three RBIs), and Dylan Yankle (2-for-3, three RBIs) powered the offense in the finale. Estopare was 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs, while Max Balter and Keith Ezersky each added two RBIs and Charlie McGinnis blasted his first career home run.
Zach Massengale allowed one run and four hits over three innings to earn the win. Eric Ezersky pitched two scoreless frames in relief, and Forrest Kirsch and Blake Drew each worked a scoreless inning.
The Sand Sharks will be back home this weekend, hosting Florida Memorial for a three-game Sun Conference series. The teams will play a doubleheader beginning at noon Friday and a single game at noon Saturday.