The South Carolina Gamecocks completed a triumphal sweep of Albany, outscoring the Great Danes (!) 28-8 over the course of the weekend. For the second consecutive series, weather forced a Sunday doubleheader.
The Cocks struck early and often on Saturday, scoring in each of the first 3 innings. Freshman Graham Saiko reached base five times (2 singles and 3 walks.) LB Dantzler continued to blaze offensively, notching his first career 4-hit game and knocking in 5 RBIs. He also mashed his second homer of the season. Jordan Montgomery earned his second victory, scattering 5 hits in 5 innings and allowing 2 ER. More impressive was freshman Curt Britt, who pitched the back half of the game in impressive fashion (4.0 IP, 2 h, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB). Final Score: 8-3, Gamecocks.
Ah, here's the game we were waiting for. The all out shelling featuring garish run (14) and hit (15) totals. But even more impressive were the arms, with Colby Holmes, Forrest Koumas and Josh Knab combining for the Gamecocks' first no-hitter in almost 40 years. Albany actually led for a time, their lone unearned run coming in the 4th inning via sacrifice fly after a Chase Vergason throwing error. It's Vergason's third error of the season (all throwing), which is troubling. But he atoned, going yard to ignite the 9-run Gamecock 5th inning, part of a 3-4, 3 RBI day for the senior. Dantzler also homered, a 3-run job in the 7th, his third of the season (he also homered in Game 1.) Final Score: 14-1, Gamecocks.
Right out of the gates, the second half of the Sunday double feature looked like it may turn into another lopsided affair. The Cocks scored 6 in the first 3 frames, thanks to more Dantzler heroics (3-4, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 2B) and a multi-hit game from freshman Max Schrock (2-4, 1 RBI, 3B). Schrock batted .333 on the weekend. Great to see he and Saiko heating up on offense. Nolan Belcher turned in another solid performance (6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 7 K) earning his first win of the season. Patrick Sullivan looked great out of the pen, striking out 4 in his 2.1 innings before unraveling in the 9th. Enter Tyler Webb, who retired 2 of 3 to earn his second save of the season. Final Score: 6-4, Gamecocks.
So far, so good for South Carolina (5-1). Five position starters are at .300 or higher, including that Filthy Fish LB Dantzler, who just earned SEC Player of the Week honors. Through six games, he's hitting .545 with 3 HR, 2 2B, and 13 RBIs with an OPS of freaking 1.639. Greyson Greiner hasn't been so lucky, sitting on a .188 average. Let's hope he heats up in time for the Clemson series this weekend. Before that, the Gamecocks have a midweek tilt with Furman, scheduled for Tuesday at 4 PM.