South Carolina’s offense cooled off a bit on Friday night after Tuesday night’s outburst against Winthrop, but the Gamecocks had enough power to get past Mercer in the series opener.
Both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when USC opened up the scoring. With one out, David Mendham walked, then Braylen Wimmer came through with a two-out homer to make the score 2-0.
The Bears ended the shutout in the next inning thanks to an RBI double from Angelo DiSpigna that made it 2-1. The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the inning, though, adding a couple of insurance runs. Josiah Sightler got hit by a pitch with two outs, Wes Clarke walked, then Andrew Eyster knocked an RBI single to put the home team up 3-1. Mendham walked after that to load the bases, then Colin Burgess got hit by a pitch as well to force in a run and bump the score to 4-1.
Mercer almost pulled within one run in the sixth on what was initially called a home run, but was reviewed and determined to be foul. The Bears didn’t really threaten after that, while Carolina scored once more in the seventh inning, when Clarke walked and later scored on an RBI sac fly from Mendham.
Gamecocks starter Thomas Farr pitched 5.1 innings and gave up six hits but just one run, along with walking three batters and striking out five. He got the win and is now 2-0. Andrew Peters and Jack Mahoney combined to go the rest of the way for USC. Mercer starter Tommy Green took the loss and drops to 0-2. Eyster led the Gamecocks at the plate with two hits, while Wimmer tallied two RBI.
South Carolina improves to 8-0 on the season, while Mercer is now 3-5. They’ll meet again on Saturday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Brannon Jordan is set to start on the mound for the Gamecocks.