Gamecocks Defeat Elon 8-1 In Series Opener|
Feb. 24, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Second ranked South Carolina came one out away from a no-hitter and was backed by an offense that featured Christian Walker tallying two hits including a homer and five RBI as the Gamecocks defeated Elon 8-1 on Friday evening in game one of a three-game college baseball series. South Carolina improves to 4-0 on the year while the loss drops Elon to 4-1. Game two of the series is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Carolina Stadium. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM.
Senior left-hander Michael Roth hurled seven no-hit innings with seven strikeouts and three walks allowed to pick up the win. He is now 1-0 on the year. Junior left-hander Nolan Belcher made his first appearance since the 2010 season and pitched one scoreless frame. Junior right-hander Patrick Sullivan closed the game out and retired the first two batters he faced before Garrett Koster homered with two outs in the top of the ninth to end the no-hit bid for Carolina. Sullivan would retire the next batter to preserve the Gamecock victory. Elon starting pitcher Kyle Webb suffered the loss and is now 1-1 on the year. He allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
South Carolina broke ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Joey Pankake led off with a triple that went off the wall in left field, just missing a home run and Evan Marzilli walked with one out followed by an infield single by Tanner English to load the bases. Kyle Webb's 0-1 offering was too inside and hit Walker scoring the first run of the game for Carolina. LB Dantzler followed with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field scoring Marzilli and Grayson Greiner collected a two-out RBI base hit to right field scoring English and giving the Gamecocks a three-run cushion.
That lead extended to 5-0 in the fourth inning. Carolina again loaded the bases as Adam Matthews reached on a throwing error by Elon second baseman Sebastian Gomez, followed by a base hit by Pankake - his second of the game - and a sacrifice bunt by Chase Vergason was misfielded by Elon catcher Alex Swim. With two outs and the bags still full and a 3-2 count, Christian Walker hit a short chopper down the third base line. On the play, Webb fielded and tried to nab Walker at first but couldn't get him. With the runners all moving on the 3-2 pitch, it allowed for both Matthews and Pankake to score.
Carolina added two more runs in the sixth inning as Walker drilled a two-run homer to left field, his first home run of the season. South Carolina added one more run in the eighth inning as well.
Walker finished 2-for-2 with five RBI. His five RBI ties a career-high. Pankake went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and Greiner added two hits as well.
Friday's game was delayed three hours and eighteen minutes due to rain in Columbia.