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No. 18 South Carolina at The Citadel, game recap: Gamecocks blank Bulldogs 2-0

The Gamecocks finally won a midweek game, despite continuing to sputter offensively.


South Carolina was on the board first in this game, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Elliott Caldwell led off with a triple, then came home on a one-out RBI sac fly from Madison Stokes.

The Gamecocks had a chance to add some insurance in the next inning. Connor Bright got hit by a pitch to start things off, Jordan Gore doubled, and Max Schrock walked to fill the bases with one out. They failed to take advantage, though, a theme that would continue through the game.

Both teams were pretty quiet offensively throughout the middle innings, with South Carolina recording no hits and The Citadel tallying one.

In the seventh inning, Hunter Taylor reached first on a wild pitch, then Stokes knocked a base hit to put two runners on. With one out, Connor Bright walked to load the bases, but the Gamecocks again couldn't cash in.

South Carolina did finally add one more run in the eighth inning. Gore walked to lead off the inning, and Schrock made it to first thanks to a Bulldog error. Another error allowed the runners to advance, but then Kyle Martin flew out and Gore was thrown out at home. Caldwell came through with an RBI single to get Schrock across the plate, and that was followed by back-to-back walks for Logan Koch and Stokes. That filled the bases with Gamecocks for the third time in this game, but for the third time, South Carolina failed to capitalize.

The lack of clutch hitting on this team is distressing, and frankly, it's tiresome. To load the bases three times and come away with nothing to show for it each time isn't acceptable, but it does speak to how the offense has looked so far this season. I don't know whether it's players, coaches, or a combination of the two - which seems most likely - but it's going to be a long season if this team can't figure out a way to get hits.

Gamecocks starter Tyler Haswell, making his first career start, did a pretty nice job. He worked four innings and allowed one hit, no runs, walked three batters and struck out three. Cody Mincey pitched the next four innings, also holding The Citadel scoreless, and Taylor Widener came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Mincey earned the win and is now 1-1, while Widener got the save, his seventh.

South Carolina improves to 20-9, while The Citadel drops to 14-13. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Thursday, when they take on Mississippi State for a three-game series. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.