Yestreday's double walk-off (which earned the top spot on SportsCenter's Top 10) was fun and all, but there was no need for late-game heroics today, as the Gamecocks cruised to another win over the Volunteers.
South Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, as Joey Pankake and Grayson Greiner, he of the walk-off grand slam last night, knocked RBI singles. Carolina proceeded to leave the bases loaded in the second and third (they've gotta work on that), though they did add an insurance run in the third inning as well, thanks to Tanner English.
The Volunteers looked like they might threaten in the fifth, but couldn't cash in with runners on the corners. That was particularly unfortunate for them, because the Gamecocks broke things open in the bottom of the inning.
Connor Bright and DC Arendas led off with singles, Marcus Mooney walked to fill the bases again, and English walked to bring home Bright. Elliott Caldwell followed that with a two-RBI double, and Pankake contributed an RBI sac fly to make it 7-0 by the time was all said and done.
Tennessee tried to get something going in the eighth inning, but instead left two runners stranded. USC wasn't quite done scoring, though. After Pankake singled to begin the bottom of the inning, Greiner (who else?) notched an RBI double to bump the score up to 8-0, and save for a walk, the Vols went quietly in the ninth.
Yesterday's games were thrilling and all, but it was nice to watch the Gamecocks take control today. Granted, I guess Tennessee could've turned the tables and pulled off a huge comeback of their own, but fortunately that didn't happen.
Starter Wil Crowe had another good day on the mound for Carolina. He worked 7.1 innings and allowed eight hits, no runs, didn't walk any batters, and struck out three. He gets the win and is now 6-0. Cody Mincey went the rest of the way for the Gamecocks.
UT starter Andrew Lee lasted four innings and gave up 10 hits, seven runs, issued four walks, tallied three K's, had a wild pitch, and hit a batter. He took the loss and falls to 3-1.
Six players recorded two hits today for the Gamecocks and Tyler Schultz also had two hits to lead the Volunteers.
Pankake extended his hitting streak to 15 games and has now scored a team-leading 30 runs this season (that's a lot). And I have to say that while he may not be a big name yet, I've been really impressed with Caldwell so far this season. His 11 RBI are the lowest among starters, but he's come through in the clutch multiple times, and that's great to see.
South Carolina improves to 24-3 (6-3 in the SEC) while Tennessee drops to 19-7 (3-6 in conference play). The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they host Appalachian State. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.