We're just one game into the season and the Gamecocks are already off to a better start than last year, when they dropped the season opener against College of Charleston. Granted, Albany isn't exactly a powerhouse, but it was good to see South Carolina take advantage of opportunities they were given throughout the game.
After leaving a pair of runners stranded in the first, the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a pair of walks and a one-out sac fly from Clark Scolamiero. They tacked on three more runs in the next inning, after newcomer Dom Thompson-Williams and Alex Destino knocked back-to-back singles to lead things off. DC Arendas got hit by a pitch to load the bases, and with one out, sophomore transfer John Jones came through with a bases clearing double to make it 4-0 in favor of the home team.
The Danes got on the board in the next inning, scoring their only run of the day on a single from Matt Hinchy.
South Carolina responded in the bottom of the inning with four more runs. Marcus Mooney smacked a one-out double, which was followed by the first homer of the season off the bat of Thompson-Williams. Destino and sophomore transfer Jonah Bride kept things going with back-to-back base hits, Jones walked with two outs to fill the bases with Gamecocks, then Arendas and freshman TJ Hopkins also took walks, putting South Carolina up by a comfortable score of 8-1.
More insurance runs came in the next two innings, with Bride tallying an RBI double in the fifth and Scolamiero contributing an RBI double in the sixth.
Starter Clark Schmidt had a nice day, pitching six innings and allowing just one run on three hits. He issued four walks and got six strikeouts. Colton Provey, Tyler Johnson and Tyler Haswell also took the mound for South Carolina. Pitching didn't go as well for Albany, as the Danes gave up a lot of free passes and plunked a few Gamecocks.
It was also a particularly nice day for the new guys on the team, with Thompson-Williams, Jones, and Bride all making an impact. Obviously this was just one game, but it was good to see them get involved right from the get-go. It was also good to see the offense as a whole really clicking and capitalizing on mistakes made by Albany's pitchers, especially since that was something last year's offense struggled to do.
The Gamecocks are now 1-0 while the Danes are 0-1. They'll meet again Saturday afternoon, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. Right-hander Braden Webb will be South Carolina's starting pitcher, while Marcus Failing, also a righty, will get the nod for Albany.