No. 23 South Carolina kept things rolling for the fifth game in a row, shutting out Queens 12-0 on Wednesday to maintain their perfect record this season.
The Gamecocks wasted no time getting on the board, taking a two-run lead in the first inning. Carson Hornung doubled to start things off, Braylen Wimmer walked, a one-out groundout by Cole Messina got Hornung home to make it 1-0, and Wimmer came in on a wild pitch to put USC up 2-0. The Cocks doubled then run total in the next inning, when Ethan Petry knocked a base hit with one out, Evan Stone walked, and Wimmer singled to load the bases. Caleb Denny then came through with a double to bump the score to 4-0.
Two more Carolina runs came in the third inning, after Talmadge LeCroy got hit by a pitch to lead off and Gavin Casas went yard to put the home team up 6-0. That score held until the seventh, when the Gamecocks broke things even more wide open. With one out, Casas doubled, then advanced on a wild pitch. Will McGillis then got hit by a pitch and advanced on another wild pitch. Casas came home on a fly out by Petry that made the score 7-0, then Stone got plunked and Hornung walked to load the bases. Another walk to Wimmer forced in a run, making it 8-0, then Denny cleared the bases with a double to bump the lead to 11-0. The final run of the game came when Messina singled to get Denny home.
USC starter James Hicks pitched five innings and allowed two hits and no runs. He walked two batters, struck out five, and earned the win, making him 2-0. Matthew Becker, Austin Williamson, and Dylan Eskew combined to go the rest of the way for the Cocks. Royals starter Jeffery Maidhof worked two innings and gave up four hits and four runs. He walked three batters, struck one out, and took the loss, dropping him to 0-2.
Casas led South Carolina at the plate with three hits, while Denny recorded five RBI. Two Queens batters each tallied one hit.
Through the first five games of the season, the Gamecocks have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 80-8. I’m no math expert, but scoring 10 times more runs than you give up seems like a pretty good strategy.
USC improves to 5-0 on the season, while the Royals are now 0-4. The Cocks will be back in action on Friday, when they open up a series against Penn. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Founders Park.