Justin Row, Carlos Cortes and Alex Destino all homered as 30th ranked South Carolina defeated USC Upstate 6-3 on Tuesday night at Founders Park. Carolina is now 31-21 on the year, with the Spartans dropping to 22-30.
Freshman right-hander Cody Morris allowed just three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts to earn the win. He is 3-1 on the year. Senior right-hander Colie Bowers picked up the save after giving up only one hit with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings of relief. Spartans’ left-hander Trey Van Der Weide suffered the loss after giving up two runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief.
Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the first inning. With one out, Jonah Bride singled to center followed by a two-run homer launched to right field by Carlos Cortes.
The Spartans tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second as USC Upstate put together three consecutive hits to lead off the inning. Brett Hawkins, Jake Bourke and Russell Schwertfeger each singled to center to score one run and Nick Bryson added another run on a groundout.
Row led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo shot to right field to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. Danny Blair singled to second base and LT Tolbert followed with a single to right field to move Blair into scoring position for Bride, who singled to right to add Carolina’s second run of the inning.
USC Upstate cut the Gamecocks lead to one in the top of the sixth but Carolina extended the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh as Jacob Olson singled to right field and Alex Destino belted a two-run homer to right center.
Row’s two-run homer in the second inning gave the Gamecocks a lead they would not relinquish.
Eight of the nine South Carolina starters recorded at least one hit tonight, with four Gamecocks tallying multi-hit games. South Carolina finished with 14 hits for the evening.
• Carlos Cortes hit his ninth home run of the season. He went 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles.
• Justin Row recorded a career-high three hits, including a solo homer. He went 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles.
Alex Destino’s homer in the seventh inning tied him with Cortes for the team lead at nine on the year.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“This puts us at 31 wins for the year. Cody [Morris] was really good when we needed him to be. We did enough offensively, 14 hits is pretty good. I think that we left some scoring opportunities out there. They put a few more on the board and made it a little tighter at the end of the game than we wanted it to be but, all in all it was a tough day for us knowing that we got news that [Chris] Cullen was going to be out for the year and that [Madison] Stokes was going to be out for the year so I was wondering how our kids would take it once the game started, but they played well, we played well, we hit some balls on the nose that were caught, we could have had more than 14 hits. I thought we had a pretty good night offensively a lot better than what the running output and the hit output shows, but it was a good win and we can have a good practice tomorrow and get real excited about playing an important series at home against Georgia.”
The Gamecocks are back in action on Thursday, May 18 as they host Georgia for a three-game series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+ and is also available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”