After going almost a year without a game, college baseball is back and South Carolina started things off on a high note, beating Dayton 12-1 in the season opener at Founders Park.
The Gamecocks got on the board early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Brady Allen walked to start things off, Brandon Milone followed with a single, and Wes Clarke homered to clear the bases. Those three runs would have been enough to win this game, but USC added to the lead in the third inning, tacking on four more. Allen led off with a triple, Milone and Clarke walked, and Andrew Eyster came through with a grand slam to put the home team up 7-0. The all dingers everything offense, it’s good!
Another run came in the fifth inning, when Eyster tripled and came home on an RBI sac fly by Colin Burgess to make it 8-0. The shutout ended in the next inning on a solo shot by Alex Brickman, but South Carolina got that run and another back in the bottom of the sixth. George Callil started things off with a double, Allen doubled too to bring Callil home, then Clarke knocked a one-out RBI base hit to put the Gamecocks in double digits, making it a 10-1 game.
The final two runs of the game were scored in the eighth inning. Clarke doubled to lead off, Braylen Wimmer walked with one out, and Burgess ended up with a two-run single after the Dayton outfielder dropped the ball.
USC starter Thomas Farr had a terrific outing, working six innings and earning the win to make him 1-0. He allowed five hits, one run, walked two batters, and struck out eight. Magdiel Cotto and Jackson Phipps combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. Flyers starter Hunter Wolfe took the loss and is 0-1. Allen, Clarke, and Eyster finished the game with three hits apiece, and Clarke and Eyster also tallied four RBI each, while Burgess was close behind with three.
The teams will meet again on Saturday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. in Columbia. Brannon Jordan is set to start on the mound for the home team.