After strong offensive performances in the first two games against Charleston Southern, the Gamecocks were flat against the Bucs on Sunday.
The game was scoreless until the third inning, when CSU took a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of two-out walks and an RBI triple. South Carolina cut the lead in half in the fourth inning, when Jonah Bride singled with two outs and LT Tolbert brought him home with an RBI triple to make the score 2-1.
The Buccaneers added a few insurance runs in the fifth inning, courtesy of another RBI triple and a sac fly that put Charleston Southern up 4-1.
After some torrential rain delayed the game for about an hour and a half, the Gamecocks were able to muster just one more run. In the eighth inning, Carlos Cortes walked with two outs, TJ Hopkins got to first on an error, and Bride walked to load the bases. Tolbert also walked to force a run in and keep the bases loaded, but USC couldn’t capitalize.
The lack of offense before and after the rain delay was tough to watch, but hopefully it’s just a blip, especially given how solid Gamecocks batters have looked overall this season.
Starting pitcher Ridge Chapman worked 5.2 innings and gave up four hits and four runs. He also walked three batters and struck out five. Chapman took the loss and is now 1-1 on the season. John Gilreath took over when the game resumed after the rain delay and was terrific. He cruised through the remaining innings, giving up just one hit and not walking any batters. Based on how he’s looked this season, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gilreath gets a shot at taking over the Sunday starter position.
South Carolina drops to 6-2 with the loss, while Charleston Southern improves to 3-4. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Furman. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Founder’s Park.