MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – South Carolina’s Colby Holmes had a quality start to lead No. 14 South Carolina over College of Charleston, 3-1, in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,526 on Tuesday night at Patriots Point.
The Gamecocks (19-6) scored three runs on eight hits while limiting the host Cougars (13-11) to just one run on four hits, stranding five runners.
Holmes (2-2) went 7.1 innings, allowing four hits and one run while striking out eight and only walking two. Charleston starter Nathan Helvey (2-2) took the loss as he gave up two runs in the first inning. He only went 2.2 innings and gave up six hits, working on a predetermined pitch count. Adam Westmoreland (2) pitched the ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.
Blake Ross, Drew Freie, Matt Pegler and Dre Watts all made appearances from the Cougar bullpen and they combined to strike out five Gamecocks and only give up two hits, two walks and just one run.
College of Charleston’s bullpen and defense played very well after the first inning, giving up just one run and making a number of spectacular catches on defense.
“I thought we pitched pretty well and played very good defense,” head coach Monte Lee said. “They swung the bats pretty well and we held them to three runs. However, we weren’t able to get enough of our leadoff guys on base, and we didn’t string together enough quality at-bats. We need to continue to be more aggressive at the plate.”
South Carolina’s LB Dantzler tallied two doubles and drove in a run to lead the Gamecock offense. Joey Pankake also knocked two hits and scored a run.
Tyler Jackson recorded the only RBI for the Cougars, scoring Morgan Phillips on a double in the third inning. Bradley Goodson knocked a double for CofC but he was stranded on the base paths.
USC opened the game with a double from Tanner English to left field, but he was put out at third on a grounder from Chase Vergason on a good throw from Gunnar Heidt. A single from Pankake and an RBI double from Dantzler plated USC’s first run. Grayson Greiner then scored Pankake with an RBI groundout to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Charleston cut the lead in half in the third inning after Phillips reached on a leadoff walk. He advanced to second on a groundout and came home to score on Jackson’s two-out double to right center field. However, Holmes induced a flyout from Heidt to get out of the inning.
The only other run of the game came in the sixth inning after two consecutive hit batters put two runners on with none out. A sacrifice bunt from Erik Payne advanced the runners over and Dante Rosenberg hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Max Schrock. Freie fielded a good bunt attempt by English to end the sixth with no further damage.
The Cougars threatened in the eighth inning with a leadoff walk from pinch-hitter Carl Wise. However, three different Gamecock pitchers recorded three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning. Westmoreland struck out one and induced two groundouts in the ninth inning to secure the 3-1 win for South Carolina.
College of Charleston will play at Samford this weekend. The Cougars will play on Friday night at 7 p.m. (ET), and then play a double-header on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. (ET). All three games will have free audio coverage through the Charleston Sports Network on CofCSports.com.