COLUMBIA, S.C. – Adam Matthews knocked two home runs and had a career-high eight RBIs to lead #4 South Carolina to a 24-4 victory over the College of Charleston Tuesday evening at Carolina Stadium. The Cougars fall to 15-7 and will face Southern Conference foe Georgia Southern this weekend for a three-game series at Patriots Point.
South Carolina put the Cougars in a deep hole in the second inning, scoring seven runs as 10 Gamecock batters came to the plate. With one out, Adrian Morales singled to left and Brady Thomas followed up with a two-run home run to right field for a 2-0 lead. Charleston senior starter Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C.) struck out Jake Williams, but followed up with a walk and hit a batter before Matthews doubled in a pair of runs with a shot down the left-field line. Jeroszko walked Peter Mooney and was relieved by senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky.), whose first pitch to Jackie Bradley, Jr. was deposited over the fence in left for a 7-0 Gamecock lead.
The offensive barrage by South Carolina continued into the third inning, as the Gamecocks put up eight more runs to put the Cougars in a 15-0 deficit. A three-run homer to straightaway center field by Matthews and a pair of two-run doubles by Scott Wingo and Williams did the damage as South Carolina sent 13 batters to the plate in the frame, using five hits, three walks and an error to put runners on base.
Charleston broke the shutout bid of Gamecock starter Colby Holmes in the top of the sixth on a solo home run to right by redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.). The round-tripper was Kral’s third of the season and his 13 RBI on the year. South Carolina responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, on a two-run home run to left by Matthews, his second of the game.
The Cougars struck again in the seventh, scoring two runs to cut the deficit to 17-3. Redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Aldrich also singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Charleston also scored on a sacrifice fly to center by senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla.) that plated redshirt-junior 1B Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.).
South Carolina pushed across two more runs in its half of the seventh on a two-run double by Marzilli, while the Cougars scored their fourth run of the game in the eighth inning on a passed ball that brought home junior RF Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) from third.
The Gamecocks plated five more runs in the eighth to complete the scoring. Colby Holmes picked up the win for South Carolina, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. Jeroszko took the loss for the Cougars, giving up six runs on three hits in 1-2/3 innings. Charleston used eight pitchers on the evening and allowed 19 hits, 11 for extra bases.
Charleston returns to Southern Conference action this weekend as Georgia Southern comes to Patriots Point for a three-game series beginning Friday evening at 6:00 p.m.