After putting up nine runs in a shutout of The Citadel on Tuesday, No. 24 South Carolina’s bats went cold and their pitchers struggled against Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, as the Gamecocks dropped a midweek game for the first time this season.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a one-out RBI single by Mitch McLendon, and they added three more runs in the second thanks to a pair of two-out base hits from Taber Mongaro and Chandler Redmond.
Three more Gardner-Webb runs came in the fourth inning on a Justin Kunz RBI sac fly, an RBI single from Corey Howard, and an RBI double by Redmond, putting the Bulldogs up 7-0. USC got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Brady Allen led off with a base hit, TJ Hopkins reached on a fielder’s choice, and Jacob Olson singled to load the bases with one out. Andrew Eyster followed with an RBI sac fly, and Jordan Holladay came through with an RBI single to make the score 7-2. Unfortunately, that was the end of the Gamecocks’ scoring for the day.
Gardner-Webb scored its final runs of the game in the seventh inning on two wild pitches and a passed ball. Note to the Gamecocks: this is not a strategy to repeat.
South Carolina starter Hayden Lehman worked just 1.2 innings while allowing three hits and three runs. He walked two batters and struck out two. Lehman took the loss and is now 0-1. Dylan Harley, Cam Tringali, Cole Ganopulos, Parker Coyne, and Gage Hinson combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. In total, USC’s pitching staff tallied eight walks and three passed balls, which isn’t really ideal. Bulldogs starter Noah Davis pitched 6 innings and earned the win, making him 1-0.
The Gamecocks are now 10-3, while Gardner-Webb is 7-2. South Carolina will be back in action on Friday, when they start a series against Valparaiso. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Founders Park.