No. 9 South Carolina run ruled another opponent on Tuesday night, blowing out the Citadel 13-2 in seven innings.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a double steal. After the Gamecocks failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position in the first two innings, they tied the game then took the lead in the third. Ethan Petry walked to lead off, then scored on a double by Cole Messina to make it 1-1. Talmadge LeCroy followed with a sac fly that got Messina home to make the score 2-1, Jonathan French walked, and Caleb Denny went yard to put USC up 4-1.
In the fourth inning, Petry got hit by a pitch and Messina doubled with two outs, then both later scored on a French double, pushing the lead to 6-1. The Citadel’s only other run of the game came in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of a base hit by Travis Elliott that made it a 6-2 game.
The Cocks broke things wide open in the sixth inning, more than doubling their run total. Petry and Messina walked to start things off, then Denny walked with two outs to load the bases. Evan Stone followed with a double that brought in Petry and Messina to make the score 8-2, Will Tippett walked, and Braylen Wimmer came through with a single that got Stone and Tippett homer and put Carolina up 10-2. Gavin Cases followed that with a homer for the final three runs of the game.
Gamecocks starter Sam Simpson pitched one inning and allowed one hit and one run. He didn’t walk any batters and struck one out. Zach Zedalis, Jackson Phipps, Nick Proctor, Eli Jerzembeck, James Hicks, and Cade Austin combined to go the rest of the way for USC, and Zedalis got the win, making him 1-0. Bulldogs starter Gant Starling worked two innings and gave up two hits and no runs. He walked two batters and struck out four. Citadel reliever Fisher Paulson took the loss and is now 0-2.
Messina, Stone, and Wimmer led the Cocks at the plate with two hits each, while Casas recorded three RBI. The Bulldogs had two players with one hit apiece, and Elliott tallied the only RBI.
South Carolina improves to 24-2 on the season, the best 26-game start in school history, while the Citadel is now 14-10. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Thursday, when they travel to play Mississippi State. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.