No. 23 South Carolina scored only single-digit runs for the first time this season, but a hot start and some late-game power were enough to keep them perfect on the year with a 7-4 win over Penn in the series opener.
After a scoreless first for both teams, the Gamecocks got on the board in a big way in the second inning. Gavin Casas walked to start things off, Talmadge LeCroy singled, and Ethan Petry came through with a homer that made it 3-0. Will McGillis then tripled, Evan Stone walked, and Braylen Wimmer got hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Caleb Denny then followed with a two-run double to make the score 5-0.
The Quakers ended the shutout in the fifth, when an error by Wimmer allowed Jackson Appel to score and make it a 5-1 game. USC got the run back in the next inning, though, when Wimmer singled with two outs and scored on a base hit by Caleb Denny, putting the home team up 6-1.
Penn made it a closer game in the seventh, scoring three runs thanks to a groundout by Wyatt Henseler and Ben Miller going yard, making the score 6-4. The Cocks’ final run of the game came in the eighth, when Cole Messina hit a two-out bomb.
Carolina starter Will Sanders worked five innings and allowed four hits and one run. He also walked two batters and struck out six. Cade Austin, Nick Proctor, Jackson Phipps, and Chris Veach also pitched in this game. Sanders earned the win, making him 1-0, while Veach got the save, his first of the season. Quakers starter Owen Coady went 4.1 innings and gave up six hits and five runs. He walked four batters, struck five out, and took the loss, making him 0-1.
Denny had three hits to lead the Gamecocks at the plate, and he Petry each tallied three RBI. Cole McGonigal and Calvin Brown paced Penn at the dish with two hits apiece, while Miller recorded two RBI.
South Carolina improves to 6-0 on the season, while the Quakers are now 0-1. They’ll meet again on Saturday, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. at Founders Park. Noah Hall is slated to start on the mound for the home team.