May 4, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Second-ranked South Carolina broke a 1-1 tie on a successful squeeze bunt by Marcus Mooney in the seventh inning and Madison Stokes added a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth as the Gamecocks defeated USC Upstate 4-1 on Wednesday night at Founders Park. The Gamecocks are 35-9 with USC Upstate now 18-24 on the year.
Sophomore right-hander Taylor Widener earned the win with 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. He did not allow a hit and struck out four and at one point retired 11 batters in a row. He is now 2-2 on the year. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Johnson pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout to earn his fifth save of the season. USC Upstate starter Cody Brittain suffered the loss and is now 2-1 on the year. He allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits in 6.1 innings with four walks and nine strikeouts.
Carolina got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. Following back-to-back walks for LT Tolbert and Marcus Mooney, both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Tolbert then scored on a fielding error by first baseman Jake Beaver.
USC Upstate answered with a run in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1. J.J. Shimko led off with a double and advanced to third after Daniel Fickas grounded out. James Fowlkes drove in Shimko with a single to left field.
The Gamecocks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Cullen began the inning with a walk and T.J. Hopkins entered the game to pinch run for Cullen. Hopkins advanced to second after Tolbert laid down a sacrifice bunt and went to third on a passed ball. Mooney knocked Hopkins in with a bunt for a base hit down the first base line.
Carolina added a pair of runs in the eighth inning. After loading the bases with one out, Stokes knocked a base hit into left field scoring Dom Thompson-Williams and Danny Blair to increase the advantage to three runs.
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