South Carolina bounced back from a close loss to Kansas State last night by winning another close game against Wright State.
The Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead, going up 2-0 in the first inning. TJ Hopkins and Alex Destino knocked back-to-back one-out singles, then Matt Williams followed with a base hit of his own to bring both runners home. South Carolina tacked on another run in the fourth inning courtesy of Madison Stokes’ first homer of the year.
Things went off the rails a bit in the next inning, though. An error by Stokes allowed a Raiders runner to reach first with one out, then a base hit put two runners on. With two outs, a wild pitch brought in Wright State’s first run of the game, and a single brought in the second. Starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt, who had mostly been cruising, then hit two batters in a row to tie the game at 3-3.
That score held until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Hopkins walked with two outs and came home on Destino RBI double.
Schmidt had a strong night overall, outside of the fifth inning issues. He worked 6 1⁄3 innings and allowed just four hits. He walked one batter and struck out 11, tying a career high. The three runs given up in the fifth were unearned, but he did have a couple of wild pitchers and hit the two batters. Colie Bowers, Josh Reagan, and Tyler Johnson combined to pitch the rest of the game for the Gamecocks. Bowers earned the win, his first of the year.
While Stokes had a bit of a tough night in the field, he was solid at the plate. Hopefully that will be something he can build on as the season goes along (and hopefully those errors won’t become a trend).
With the win, South Carolina improves to 4-2, while Wright State drops to 2-2. They’ll meet again tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. in Columbia. Wil Crowe will start on the mound for the Gamecocks.