After weeks of watching South Carolina struggle to score any runs at all, they exploded for 17 - SEVENTEEN - runs against USC Upstate in the final midweek game of the regular season.
Marcus Mooney and Clark Scolamiero continued their hot streaks and the Gamecocks got production up and down the lineup tonight, with both starters and pinch hitters providing offense. Here's an inning-by-inning breakdown of the scoring:
1st inning: No runs
2nd inning: No runs
3rd inning: With two outs, Gene Cone walked, Mooney singled, and Kyle Martin walked to load the bases. Elliott Caldwell and Alex Destino walked to bring in two runs, then Hunter Taylor doubled to bring in two more, making it 4-0.
4th inning: Madison Stokes led off with a single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Scolamiero followed with an RBI single, then Cone contributed a base hit to put runners on the corners. Mooney came through with a sac fly RBI, Martin walked, and then he and Cone pulled off a double steal, before Destino homered with two outs to increase South Carolina's lead to 9-0.
5th inning: No runs
6th inning: With one out, Martin singled and Caldwell walked, then with two outs Taylor knocked an RBI base hit. DC Arendas followed with a walk, and Stokes brought in two more runs with a single, making the score 12-0.
7th inning: No runs
8th inning: Weber Pike led off with a single, Stokes singled with two outs, and Scolamiero knocked a base hit to load the bases. Patrick Harrington came through with an RBI single, then Jordan Gore doubled, bringing in three more runs. Collin Steagall tallied an RBI single for the final run of the game. The Gamecocks could've had even more runs, but left the bases loaded.
Canaan Cropper, in his first-ever start, did a really nice job, as did John Parke, Preston Johnson, and Tyler Johnson. They combined to allow five hits, no runs, walk three batters, and strike out nine. Parke earned the win and is now 2-0 on the season.
The offense outhit the Spartans 18-5, the defense was impressive too, and the team was pretty much clicking on all cylinders tonight. Now the question is whether they can keep that up this weekend against LSU, which might be just a little bit tougher of an opponent than Upstate.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 31-22 overall, while USC Upstate drops to 15-35. The Gamecocks will be back in action for the final SEC series of the regular season, against LSU, which begins Thursday. First pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium, and Jack Wynkoop will start on the mound.