Colby Holmes, Forrest Koumas and Josh Knab combined for the first no-hitter by a Gamecock baseball team since March 26, 1975 as fifth ranked South Carolina exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on the way to a 14-1 win over Albany in game one of a doubleheader at Carolina Stadium. The no-hitter is the seventh in school history and the first combined no-hitter as well.
Holmes was in control most of the afternoon with six innings allowing just one walk and three strikeouts. The one run for Albany came in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk, a throwing error and a sacrifice fly. After Holmes' stint, Koumas came on for two hitless innings with just three walks and a strikeout. Josh Knab closed out the victory with a perfect inning of relief to seal the no-hitter for Carolina.
Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Gamecocks pounded out eight hits and scored nine times to go ahead by eight runs. The nine-run bottom of the fifth was the most runs by a Gamecock team in an inning since Carolina scored 10 on March 9, 2010 in the bottom of the third in a 12-4 win over Valparaiso. The fifth inning opened with a solo home run by Chase Vergason, his first of the season and second of his career in a Gamecock uniform. Max Schrock gave the Gamecocks its first lead with a two-run single with the bases loaded. Joey Pankake followed with a RBI groundout. A RBI single off the bat of LB Dantzler gave Carolina a 5-1 lead. With two outs and Dantzler on second base, the Gamecocks kept it going as Connor Bright delivered with a RBI single, followed by a base hit by Vergason and a RBI base hit courtesy of Dante Rosenberg. Saiko completed the scoring with a two-run single scoring Vergason and Rosenberg.
South Carolina added two runs in the sixth inning on a two-run double from Vergason. The Gamecocks made it 14-1 in the eighth inning on a three-run homer by Dantzler. In the first two games of the series, Dantzler has a pair of homers and nine RBI.
South Carolina finished with 15 hits in the contest. Vergason went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, English went 3-for-4 with two runs, Dantzler was 2-for-4 with three runs and four RBI and Schrock went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. All nine Gamecock starters reached base at least once with eight of nine tallying at least one hit.
A leadoff walk and a two-base throwing error led to the first run of the game for Albany in the top of the fourth inning. Nolan Gaige opened the frame with a walk and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Gamecock third baseman Chase Vergason off a grounder off the bat of Gorden Madej. With one out and a 0-1 count, Josh Nethaway lifted a sac fly to right-center scoring Gaige.
South Carolina's last no-hitter came on March 26, 1975 when Ray Lavigne hurled a no-no in an 8-0 victory vs. George Mason at Sarge Frye Field.
Fresh off a no-hitter in game one of a doubleheader, fifth ranked South Carolina stormed ahead in the nightcap with six runs in the first three innings on the way to a 6-4 victory over Albany to sweep a doubleheader and the series vs. the Great Danes. Carolina is now 5-1 on the year while the loss drops Albany to 0-5 for the season.
South Carolina starter Nolan Belcherallowed two runs on eight hits in six innings of work to pick up the win. He is now 1-1 for the season. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb recorded the final two outs of the game to pick up his second save of the year. Albany starting pitcher Austin Chase suffered the loss and is 0-2 for the season. He worked four innings and allowed six runs, three earned on seven hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts.
The Gamecocks broke ahead with three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Max Schrock reached base with one out on a fielding error by Austin Chase. Carolina then struck for a pair of hits as Joey Pankake singled followed by a RBI double to right field off the bat of LB Dantzler. With runners on second and third, Pankake would score as a deep fly to right field off the bat of Kyle Martin was dropped by Albany right fielder D.J. Hoagboon. Dantzler would score Carolina's third run of the inning onGrayson Greiner's RBI sacrifice fly to center.
Carolina added to the lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Tanner English reached base with a one-out double and scored on Max Schrock'stwo-out RBI triple to left-center. The triple was the first of the season for the Gamecocks. The lead extended to 6-0 in the third inning. Dantzler doubled and after a Kyle Martin walk would score onGrayson Greiner's RBI single up the middle. After a walk to Chase Vergasonloaded the bases, Martin would score on TJ Costen's RBI sacrifice fly to left-center.
Albany struck for a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Josh Nethaway, Greg Muller and D.J. Hoagboon opened the frame with three consecutive singles including a RBI base hit from Hoagboon. With two outs, Muller would score on a RBI single off the bat of Evan Harasta.
Albany wasn't done and scored twice more in the ninth inning. Adam Mund singled for his third hit of the day with one out followed by a double off the bat of Jeff Welsh. The Gamecocks then went to the pen for Webb to close out the game. Evan Harasta knocked a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Mund. Nolan Gaige added a two-out RBI single scoring Welsh. With the tying run at the plate, Webb dug in and struck out Gordon Madej to preserve the Carolina victory.
South Carolina won despite being outhit 11-10 in the contest. Dantzler went 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. He was 9-for-13 in the series with 10 RBI. He is hitting .545 (12-for-22) after two weeks of play with three homers and 13 RBI. Max Schrock was also 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Mund went 3-for-4 to lead Albany at the plate. Gaige and Hoagboon added two hits apiece also.
South Carolina returns to action Tuesday afternoon hosting Furman at Carolina Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.