The Gamecocks were on the board first in the first inning, taking a 2-0 lead after John Jones singled with two outs and Alex Destino went yard.
Both teams were pretty quiet in the next couple of innings, with Charleston Southern getting just one hit and South Carolina tallying none, but the Gamecocks added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth. Destino walked to start things off, then Dom Thompson-Williams homered to make it 4-0. They had a chance to do even more damage after Chris Cullen walked, TJ Hopkins singled with one out, and DC Arendas walked to load the bases, but they weren't able to capitalize, ending the inning instead on a double play.
South Carolina's final run of the game came in the fifth inning. Jonah Bride singled to lead off, then reached second on an error. With one out, he came home on an RBI single from Destino.
The Buccaneers ended the shut out in the seventh inning, courtesy of an RBI groundout by Kevin Hickey. Then they tacked on three more in the eighth, making things interesting - and tense - in Columbia.
Starting pitcher Braden Webb had a nice outing, bouncing back from a rough one last weekend against Clemson. He worked 5.2 innings and gave up just three hits, no runs, walked two batters and struck out four. A number of other pitchers also took the mound for the Gamecocks today, with Vince Fiori, Reed Scott, Brandon Murray, and Josh Reagan all throwing in this game. Webb got the win, moving him to 4-1 this season, while Reagan earned the save, his fifth. The bullpen, which has been generally solid all season, was uncharacteristically shaky today. With this being the last weekend series before conference play gets going, hopefully the struggles are just a blip, and they'll be taken care of sooner rather than later.
DTW and Destino continued to be major contributors on the offensive side, and it seems like Destino may be getting to where we expected him to be after a slowish start to the season. Given that conference play is starting soon, it'll be good for him to hit his stride heading into those contests.
Defensively, Bride had another really great game. His play at third base has been a positive all season long, but he really came through today, particularly in some crucial late-game situations.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 14-2, while Charleston Southern is now 8-7. The Gamecocks will go for the sweep tomorrow, with first pitch set for 1:30 p.m. at Founder's Park. Adam Hill will start on the mound for the home team, while John Piriz will go for the Buccaneers.