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No. 7 South Carolina vs. Penn State, game recap: Gamecocks blow out Nittany Lions 13-3, win series

After a string of lackluster performances, the Gamecocks offense finally showed up in the second game of the series against Penn State.

South Carolina jumped out to an early lead in the second and final game against the Nittany Lions. Gene Cone led off with a single, Max Schrock walked, and Kyle Martin tallied a single to load the bases with no outs. Elliott Caldwell followed with a walk that forced in a run, then Alex Destino knocked a base hit to make it 2-0 Gamecocks.

They tacked on another run in the next inning, thanks to an RBI sac fly from Martin.

Three more South Carolina runs came in the fourth inning. Marcus Mooney walked with one out, Cone singled, and then Schrock belted a long homer to make it 6-0 Gamecocks.

Penn State got on the board in the next inning. With one out, Jim Haley, Christian Helsel, Jim Coates all singled to load the bases, then Alex Malinsky brought two runs in with a base hit of his own. South Carolina added a run in the bottom of the inning on a Nittany Lions error.

The Gamecocks really broke things wide open in the sixth inning, when they tacked on five more runs and batted around. With one out, Schrock and Martin knocked back-to-back singles, then Caldwell walked to load the bases again. Destino followed with a bases-clearing triple that put South Carolina up 10-2. Jordan Gore contributed an RBI single next, and after DC Arendas walked, Hunter Taylor registered an RBI base hit of his own to make it 12-2.

Each team added their final run in the seventh inning. For Penn State, Ryky Smith hit an RBI single, and for the Gamecocks, Martin went yard.

Reed Scott started on the mound for the Gamecocks and did a nice job, tossing four innings. Scott also struck out four of the first five batters he faced. A bunch of South Carolina pitchers (and Nittany Lions pitchers, for that matter) got some work in during this game, with Preston Johnson, John Parke, Matt Vogel, Tyler Johnson, and Canaan Cropper all taking the mound. Preston Johnson got the win.

For the first time in a while, the Gamecocks offense was really fun to watch tonight. They tallied 15 total hits, and Martin, Schrock, and Destino each had three. After both Martin and Schrock had a slower start to the season than anyone would've liked, they've been consistent contributors, and that's good to see. Destino has also done a really nice job with clutch hits, and Cone, who has reached base safely in all 17 games this season, has been an excellent table-setter for the guys after him in the lineup.

South Carolina improves to 14-3, while Penn State drops to 1-10. The Gamecocks will begin conference play with a weekend series at home against Kentucky. The first game is scheduled to begin on Friday at 7 p.m.