Strong pitching and hot bats led the University of South Carolina baseball team to an 11-0 win over No. 19 LSU in game one of the series Friday night (April 20) at Founders Park.
Freshman Logan Chapman was excellent on the mound, pitching a career high 6.2 innings, with six strikeouts and only two hits. Chapman is now 3-0 on the season.
Eight Gamecocks had at least one hit, five of which went for extra bases.
Carlos Cortes got things started early for the Gamecocks with a solo home run in the bottom of the first, his ninth of the year.
The Gamecocks loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with singles from Madison Stokes and LT Tolbert, followed by a hit by pitch to the back of Jonah Bride. Justin Row grounded out into a double play but Stokes was able to score, increasing the Carolina lead to 2-0. TJ Hopkins followed Row with a double to the gap in left that scored Tolbert, putting the Gamecocks up 3-0.
LSU put runners on the corners in the bottom of the sixth but Sawyer Bridges entered and got a come backer to end the threat and the inning.
Bride drove in Cortes with a single for Carolina in the bottom of the seventh, making it 5-0 Gamecocks. Carolina added six insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. The first came off a Hunter Taylor single to drive in Jacob Olson, who reached base in the prior at bat off a double down the left field line. Taylor came home two batters later when Cortes singled for his third hit of the night. Noah Campbell got his turn to cross the plate when Tolbert hit a one out sacrifice fly to center, making the score 8-0.
Hopkins continued to enjoy his return to the starting lineup, blasting one off the right field wall for a bases-loaded triple, stretching the Gamecock lead to 11-0.
Hunter Lomas pitched the final inning for the Gamecocks and pitched a clean inning, preserving Carolina’s third shutout of the season.
“We followed our worst game of the year probably with our best. With everything that has happened with us this year at the end of the day I don’t think you can question the heart that this team has. Obviously, this Tuesday was a real gut punch for everybody so to bounce back like this with two real good practices and preparation, it was good to see us come out and play like that.” –Head Coach Mark Kingston
Logan Chapman pitched a career high 6.2 innings, allowing just two hits with no runs and tying a career high with six strikeouts.
TJ Hopkins went 2-for-5 with four RBI on his first night back in the starting lineup since March 20.
Carlos Cortes had three hits on the night, the third time he has had three hits in a game this season. Cortes also scored three runs in the win.
It was Carolina’s first shutout since a 7-0 win over Charleston Southern on Feb. 23 and the third shutout this season.
Carolina now has five wins over ranked opponents.
TJ Hopkins set a season-high with the four RBI while recording his fifth career triple.
Logan Chapman now has 40 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched after tying a career high with six strikeouts. In Chapman’s last three outings, the freshman has 12 strikeouts and five runs allowed in 16 innings pitched.
Sawyer Bridges lowered his ERA to 0.47 after pitching 1.1 scoreless innings in the win.
The Gamecocks will take on LSU for game two of the series tomorrow (Saturday, April 21) at 4 p.m. at Founders Park.