If you've been desperately hoping to see some strong offense from the Gamecocks, tonight was not the night for you.
South Carolina got on the board in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to some sloppy play by Penn State. Elliott Caldwell led off by getting hit, making him the Gamecocks' first runner of the night. He stole second, advanced to third, and came home on a throwing error.
The only other runs in the game came in the next inning. Marcus Mooney bunted for a base hit to lead things off, then Max Schrock and Kyle Martin came through with back-to-back one-out doubles to make it 3-0 South Carolina. As lackluster as the offense has been lately, it's good to see Schrock and Martin are back to contributing consistently.
The lack of offense was likely due in part to strong pitching on both sides of the ball. Gamecocks starter Josh Reagan had the longest outing of his career, and he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Reagan did a great job tonight, and it'll be interesting to see if he builds on this and locks down the midweek starting role. Brandon Murray and Cody Mincey also took the mound for South Carolina.
Good Penn State pitching aside, this Gamecocks offense has to wake up. After coach Chad Holbrook listed Jack Wynkoop as the DH on the lineup card, which was perhaps to send a message to his hitters, South Carolina still was unimpressive at the plate. There are enough talented guys on this team that there's no reason their offensive output should be so low, and once conference play starts, they may not be able to skate by on good pitching alone.
The Gamecocks improve to 13-3, while the Nittany Lions drop to 1-9. This was also Holbrook's 100th win as head coach. The teams will meet again for the second game of the series on Wednesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.