If you appreciate sterling pitching performances this wasn’t the game for you, but if you’re a fan of high-output offensive games, you were in luck.
Both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the third, when South Carolina got on the board with a pair of runs. With one out, Noah Campbell and Quinntin Perez singled, and both came home on a two-out double from Luke Berryhill to make the score 2-0. Jacob Olson then followed with a two-run homer to double the Gamecocks’ run total. After that, Andrew Eyster singled, Chris Cullen walked, and Brady Allen doubled to make it 5-0.
Things took an immediate downturn in the top of the fourth, though, as Utah Valley brought in three runs on no hits. USC starter Carmen Mlodzinski got one quick out to start the inning, but then gave up three walks in a row, and a dropped ball brought in the Wolverines’ first run of the game. After getting a strikeout, another walk and a balk brought in two more runs for Utah Valley, making it a 5-3 game.
The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring four more runs of their own. Campbell and Perez walked to start things off, TJ Hopkins singled to load the bases, and Berryhill got hit to force in a run. Olson came through with a two-run double after that, making the score 8-3, and with one out Cullen and Allen both walked, forcing another run across the plate.
No one scored again until the bottom of the sixth, when South Carolina added more insurance. Olson and Eyster walked to begin the inning, then Cullen got hit to load the bases. Allen came through with an RBI single to put the Gamecocks up 10-3, Nick Neville reached on a fielder’s choice to bring in another run, and Noah Campbell followed with a three-run homer to make the score 14-3 in favor of the home team. The final run of the game came in the eighth inning on a pinch hit groundout from Jordan Holladay.
Mlodzinski worked four innings and allowed two hits and three runs, walked five batters, and struck out four. Brett Kerry, Wesley Sweatt, and Gage Hinson combined to go the rest of the way, and Kerry earned the win, improving to 2-0 on the season. Utah Valley starter worked 2.2 innings and took the loss, dropping to 0-2. Pitchers on both sides struggled in this game, allowing a total of 14 walks, and there were also five HBPs, though four of those were done by Wolverines pitchers.
South Carolina is now 4-1 overall, while Utah Valley is 1-3. They’re scheduled to play again Saturday at 2 p.m. at Founders Park, with Dylan Harley expected to start on the mound for the Gamecocks.