Fourth ranked South Carolina scored nine runs in the top of the second inning with 10 consecutive batters reaching base as the Gamecocks defeated The Citadel 15-1 on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. The Gamecocks improved to 18-6 with The Citadel 9-16 on the year. Carolina set a season-high for runs and belted out a season-high 20 hits in the victory.
Freshman right-hander Cody Morris earned his first career win in five innings of work. He allowed just one run on two hits with no walks and a career-high eight strikeouts. Morris is 1-0 on the year. Zach Taglieri suffered the loss for The Citadel and is 0-2 on the year. He allowed six runs, five earned, on four hits in 1.1 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
South Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning. TJ Hopkins reached base to open the game on a throwing error by Bulldogs’ second baseman J.D. Davis. Jonah Bride would follow with a hit by pitch and Matt Williams walked to load the bases with no outs. Alex Destino would drive in Hopkins with a RBI groundout and Chris Cullen added a RBI single to score Bride as the Gamecocks built a two-run cushion.
Carolina broke the game open in the second inning as 10 consecutive batters reached base as the Gamecocks scored nine runs on eight hits to take a 11-0 lead. Bride tallied a RBI single, as did Destino and Cullen. Jacob Olson would have the big hit of the frame with a double with the bases loaded to score all three baserunners. LT Tolbert also had a RBI double and the Gamecocks scored one run on a wild pitch and another on a throwing error.
The Gamecocks added single runs in the fourth, fifth, eight and ninth innings. The 15th run came on a solo homer by Jacob Olson, his team-leading fifth homer of the year. Relievers Sawyer Bridges, Graham Lawson, all had a scoreless inning of relief for the Gamecocks. Right-hander Colby Lee closed it out with two scoreless innings of relief. Morris, Bridges, Lawson and Lee combined for 13 strikeouts on the mound.
The 9-run second inning gave the Gamecocks a 10-run cushion.
South Carolina finished with a season-high in hits and runs
South Carolina’s 10 consecutive batters reaching base was two short of the school record of 12 set vs. Florida in 1992.
Seven Gamecocks had multi-hit games for the Gamecocks.
Jonah Bride tied a career-high in hits as he went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored. He also had his second triple of the season. Bride last had four hits in a game ironically vs. The Citadel on May 17, 2016.
Jacob Olson set a career-high in hits and RBI going 3-for-6 with four RBI in the victory.
Chris Cullen tied his career-high in hits as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
LT Tolbert also tied his career-high in hits going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI.
Matt Williams, Alex Destino and TJ Hopkins all had two hits as well for the Gamecocks at the plate.
QUOTABLE FROM HEAD COACH CHAD HOLBROOK
“I’m proud of my team. They came to the park with some energy and enthusiasm today. (We got) 20 hits and really (swung) the bat very well and hit the ball extremely well. It was a good night for us offensively. It was really good to see Cody throw as well as he did. Our young pitchers threw extremely well. Cody, Sawyer, Graham and Colby – the ball was jumping a little bit off the bat tonight – those guys did a real good job to hold them at bay. A big win for us on the road and we are excited to get on the bus and head home and get a day of rest and get ready for another important weekend.
South Carolina travels to Auburn for a three-game SEC series. First pitch for the series opener on Friday is 7 p.m. ET. Game two on Saturday is 6 p.m. ET with the series finale on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.