Feb. 24, 2018
COLUMBIA - A strong offensive performance pushed the University of South Carolina baseball team to a 14-2 win over Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) at Founders Park. The Gamecocks have now won six straight games heading into Sunday's noon series finale.
Charleston Southern got on the board with a solo home run from Mike Sconzo in the first. The Gamecocks responded strongly in the bottom of the second when a bases loaded single from Hunter Taylor that scored LT Tolbert. Noah Campbell followed suit with a go-ahead single of his own that scored Justin Row and Chris Cullen, giving the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead.
Jacob Olson blasted one out into the left field bullpen for a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, making the score 8-1. Charleston Southern brought in a run the top of the sixth, but that would be its final run of the game.
The bottom of the sixth was an electrifying one for the Carolina. A two-run blast from Carlos Cortes gave the Gamecocks some insurance. Jonah Bride followed the homer with a triple and was rewarded with a run when Hopkins singled into center field. Row hit a two-out, three-run home run, scoring Hopkins and Cullen pushing the Carolina lead to 14-2.
Cody Morris earned the win for Carolina, striking out three in five-plus innings of work. The Gamecock pitching staff struck out seven on the day, including a pair from freshman Carmen Mlodzinski's first career outing.
"Everybody kept asking us before the season started 'are you hitting so well in spring practice because the pitching is going to struggle or is your offense really good?' I think what we are seeing is that our offense is pretty good and has improved but I think you're also seeing that our pitchers got better for having to face that offense and how we go about our bats all spring. I'm impressed and surprised a little bit that we are pitching so well, we thought we would pitch effectively but where we are right now I think is a little better than where we thought we would be this early in the season having a new pitching coach and so many new pitchers, I think we are a little bit ahead of schedule right now." - Head Coach Mark Kingston
Noah Campbell's two-run single gave the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead in the second, a lead they would never relinquish.
South Carolina and Charleston Southern end its three-game set on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 25) at noon. The start time was moved up due to the weather forecast in Columbia.
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