MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The 10th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks took a 7-0 victory over College of Charleston in front of a sellout crowd of 1,767 at Patriots Point.
The win marked the eighth straight win for the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks (21-8) over the Cougars (21-9). The contest was the first for CofC this year against a nationally ranked opponent and marked the first time that College of Charleston has not scored a run in a game.
Gamecock pitcher Adam Westmoreland (2-0) led South Carolina to the shutout with 5.1 strong innings, giving up just two hits and striking out three. Carolina's bullpen finished the game strong as Tyler Webb pitched 2.2 shutout innings and Nolan Belcher finished the ninth inning with two strikeouts. CofC managed just four hits against USC's pitching staff, tying for the lowest output this season.
College of Charleston's Ryan West (2-3) picked up the loss despite five strong innings where he gave up just two runs and struck out three. The Gamecocks hit relievers Christian Powell and Nick Osterman for four earned runs to put the game out of reach.
Offensively, Joey Pankake led the Gamecocks with a 3-for-5 performance with a home run, two doubles, three runs and an RBI.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the top of the first inning after a pop fly from Pankake fell between shortstop Bradley Goodson and outfielders Brandon Murray and Marty Gantt, allowing him to reach second. A single and a grounder from Dantzler scored Pankake to put South Carolina up 1-0.
The Cougars threatened with runners on third in both the second and third innings, but could not crack the scoreboard. In the second inning, USC induced a grounder from Gunnar Heidt and forced out Cody Martin at second before catching Brandon Glazer in a rundown between third and home to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, Jimmy Holton advanced to third with one out after a single and a balk, but popups from Gantt and Murray ended the inning.
South Carolina added its second run in the fifth inning off of two-out hits from Pankake and Christian Walker. Four hits in the sixth inning off of Powell plated two more runs for the Gamecocks, who extended the lead to 4-0.
Pankake's solo home run in the sixth inning and a single, double and a wild pitch in the seventh inning gave USC its final runs to make the final score, 7-0.
College of Charleston will travel to Appalachian State this weekend for a crucial SoCon series against the current conference leaders. Friday's first pitch is slated for 6 p.m.