Eighth ranked South Carolina broke open a one-run game with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and five Gamecock pitchers combined for a six-hit shutout in an 8-0 victory over Davidson on Tuesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 31-10 with Davidson falling to 23-11 on the year. It is the 12th shutout of the season for South Carolina.
With a 1-0 lead, the Gamecocks tacked on six runs in the bottom half of the sixth sending 10 batters to the plate in the process. Six consecutive batters reached base to open the inning. Joey Pankake led off with a single and Kyle Martin walked to put a pair of runners on base. Grayson Greiner would drive in Pankake with a RBI double down the left field line, and Patrick Harrington would bring home Martin on a RBI infield single. DC Arendas added RBI bunt for a base hit. Harrington eventually scored on a passed ball and Gene Cone would add a fielder’s choice to plate home the last run as the Gamecocks built a seven-run lead. Carolina added a run in the eighth inning on a sac fly from Greiner.
Four of the five Gamecock pitchers were freshmen in the contest. South Carolina freshman right-hander Taylor Widener earned the win in relief with three perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts. He is now 3-0 on the year. South Carolina starter Reed Scott worked four-plus innings without allowing a run. He limited the Wildcats to five hits and one walk while striking out one batter. Freshmen lefties Josh Reagan and John Parke also saw action with senior right-hander Hunter Privette closing the game out. Davidson starter Clark Beeker suffered the loss and is 2-2 for the season. He allowed one run on three hits in three innings of work.
Eight of nine Gamecocks had at least one hit with Arendas and Logan Koch each with two for the evening. Sam Foy went 2-for-3 to lead Davidson.
“I was very concerned coming into the game today, Davidson is having a really good year and they’re at the top of their league,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “They didn’t have a chance to play much this weekend because of the weather and we got taken to the limit by Auburn. We weren’t as well-stacked in the bullpen and we had to start a young guy against a veteran team. I was concerned going into the game but Reed [Scott] kept them at bay there for four innings and pitched very well. He mixed his pitches, threw strikes and kept them off the scoreboard. Taylor [Widener] came in and I thought had his best stuff of the year, he was lighting the gun up pretty well. He has a chance to be a special player here and I think we saw a glimpse of that tonight. It was good to get Josh [Reagan] back out there and John [Parke], as well as Hunter [Privette]. It was a good win for us, a good midweek victory against a good team that’s leading the Southern Conference. Hopefully we can keep building on the momentum we’ve created the last three games.”
Marcus Mooney would give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a one-out RBI double. After Tanner English reached base on a fielder’s choice and stole second base, Mooney knocked a two base hit down the right field line giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead.
The Gamecocks continue the homestand on Wednesday hosting USC Upstate. First pitch is 7 p.m. with the game televised live on FOX Sports South and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”