After a weekend series against Clemson that was a lot of things - frustrating, sad, unpleasant, embarrassing - South Carolina took out their frustrations on The Citadel, blowing out the Bulldogs on Tuesday night.
The Gamecocks got on the board early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. TJ Hopkins led off with a single, stole second, and came home on an RBI single from Jacob Olson. Alex Destino worked a walk, and then Jonah Bride brought Olson in to score.
A leadoff homer cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth inning, but South Carolina added some insurance in the bottom of the inning, when LT Tolbert tripled with one out and scored when Chris Cullen blasted a homer to make it 4-1 Gamecocks. With two outs, Hopkins went yard too with a solo shot.
South Carolina’s offense exploded in the next inning, adding six more runs. Matt Williams, who now has an 11-game hitting streak, led off with a base hit, and eventually came home on a Destino RBI single. Bride walked, Tolbert singled, and Cullen brought them both in with a single. With two outs, Hopkins belted his second homer of the night, bringing in three more runs to put the Gamecocks up 11-1.
Their final run of the game came in the sixth inning, after Bride singled with one out and Cullen knocked a two-out RBI base hit to bring him in.
The Bulldogs didn’t go down without a fight, though, tacking on four runs in the seventh inning.
Starter Cody Morris did a nice job in his first career start, working three innings. Graham Lawson and John Parke combined to go the rest of the way, and they had good showings as well.
Considering how the Clemson series went, it was nice to see offensive production from all over the lineup, as well as solid pitching and strong defense. Now it just remains to be seen whether they can keep that going.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 8-5, while The Citadel drops to 3-8. The Gamecocks will play again Wednesday, when they host Winthrop. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Founders Park.