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Gamecocks Earn 5-4 Win over Charlotte on Tuesday
Feb. 21, 2017

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Alex Destino and Jacob Olson each homered and fourth ranked South Carolina scored five runs in the first five innings on the way to a 5-4 victory over Charlotte on Tuesday night at Founders Park. The Gamecocks improve to 3-1 with Charlotte dropping to 2-2 on the season.

Senior right-hander Colie Bowers earned the win in relief and is 1-0 on the year. He threw two scoreless innings with no walks and one strikeout. Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson closed out the contest in 1.1 innings and struck out a pair to earn his first save of the season.

Despite not recording a hit, South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after TJ Hopkins stole third base and made it home on a wild pitch. Charlotte answered in the top of the second when T.J. Nichting led off with a single to right field, advanced on a throwing error and went on to score to tie the game at 1-1.

The Gamecocks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Jacob Olson launched his first home run for the Garnet and Black.

The 49ers went ahead 3-2 after Brett Netzer led off in the top of the third with a double to right center and Nichting knocked him in with a double to left field followed by a groundout by Drew Ober to score Jackson Mims.

The Gamecocks regained the lead in the fifth inning with three runs to go ahead 5-3. Justin Row tied the game at 3-3 for Carolina in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field to score Carlos Cortes, who got on base with a double to center. Alex Destino followed with a two-run homer to right field to give the Gamecocks a two-run advantage.

Charlotte put a run on the board with three singles by Zack Smith, Reece Hampton and Netzer in the top of the ninth, but with runners on the corners and one out, Johnson reared back and struck out Jackson Mims and coaxed a fielder’s choice off the bat of T.J. Nichting to preserve the Carolina victory.

The three-run third inning, highlighted by Destino’s two-run homer, gave the Gamecocks the cushion they needed on the way to a 5-4 win over Charlotte.

Eight of nine Gamecock starters had at least one hit on the way to an 11-hit afternoon.

Danny Blair has hit safely in all four games this season for the Gamecocks.
Jacob Olson recorded his first career home run as a Gamecock and the first home run of the season for South Carolina.
Riley Hogan notched his first career hit for South Carolina. Hogan went 2-for-4 on the day with two singles.

“We knew Charlotte was a really good team coming in, and they certainly were very impressive to me. Offensively they returned four hitters that hit .355 last year and added a couple of newcomers that were impressive as well. We’re lucky to get out of here with a win. I’ll certainly take it. We made it a little harder than we wanted to or needed to because of lack of execution a little bit offensively. We didn’t really do a nice job, particularly on one play on defense. But all in all, I was tickled for Colie Bowers, Sawyer [Bridges], Brandon Murray and Tyler [Johnson] there at the end. It’s good to be in these kind of games because we’re going to be in a lot of them all year long and it was good that we found a way to win. For that I’m happy, but we have to play better. I certainly can make a few better decisions along the way as well. But all in all, it’s a good win. We’ll take it and move on to another challenge on Thursday.”

The Gamecocks are back in action on Thursday, Feb. 23 as they host Kansas State at 4 p.m. Founders Park. It will be broadcast live on SEC Network +. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”



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