March 10, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt struck out a career-high 12 batters in 7.1 innings of work and Madison Stokes belted a two-run homer as seventh ranked South Carolina defeated Michigan State 3-2 in the series opener on Friday night at Founders Park. The Gamecocks improved to 10-5 on the year, while the Spartans dropped to 9-3 overall.
Schmidt improved to 3-0 on the season. He allowed two runs on eight hits and did not walk a batter. Senior right-hander Colie Bowers recorded his first save of the year after allowing only one hit with two strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Michigan State left-hander Alex Troop suffered the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in eight innings of work. He is 2-1 on the year.
Michigan State broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning when Marty Bechina delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle to bring Danny Gleaves in from second base.
The Gamecocks did not have a hit entering the fifth inning, but got to Troop with a pair in the bottom of the frame. After Jonah Bride reached second on an error by right fielder Dan Chmielewski to lead off the inning, South Carolina went ahead 2-1 as Stokes launched a two-run homer over the left field fence.
Bride added an insurance run for the Gamecocks in the bottom of the seventh. He reached third on a triple to left-center. With one out, LT Tolbert would go down swinging on strikes. With the ball in the dirt, MSU catcher Matt Byars had to throw down to first to record the out. On Byars’ throw to first, Bride raced home and beat the throw from Michigan State’s first baseman Zack McGuire to score Carolina’s third run.
Michigan State cut Carolina’s lead to one run in the top of the eighth inning. With one out and runners on second and third base, Brandon Hughes knocked a grounder to second to score Dan Durkin. Bowers would get out of the inning though as he induced pinch hitter Kory Young into a flyout to left field. Bowers would allow just an infield single in the ninth inning to preserve the Carolina victory.
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