COLUMBIA - For the second straight contest, the University of South Carolina baseball team built a big first-inning lead on its way to a 9-4 win over Holy Cross Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Founders Park. Brett Kerry picked up the win, striking out a career high 12 Crusaders.
Kerry pitched five innings in the victory, allowing five hits and three runs to go along with his 12 punchouts. He also did not walk a batter in the 89-pitch outing.
The Gamecocks plated five runs in the first, a night after scoring six in the first stanza. Carolina capitalized on three Holy Cross errors and had RBI singles from Andrew Eyster, Wes Clarke and George Callil along with a successful squeeze bunt from Noah Campbell. Holy Cross responded with three runs in the second on four hits, but Kerry came back to put up zeroes in his next three frames.
In the fifth, Eyster homered for the second consecutive day to make it 6-3. Carolina added insurance in the seventh on a two-run homer from Clarke and an RBI double to the gap in left by Colin Burgess.
Holy Cross scored a run in the eighth and had the bases loaded, but Parker Coyne struck out a pair to end the threat. The Crusaders then loaded the bases in the ninth and Daniel Lloyd came in, inducing a groundout for his first save.
Clarke drove in three runs in his 2-for-3 day, while Eyster and Callil had a pair of RBI.
• The Gamecocks clinch a series win, its 22nd in a row in an opening weekend.
• Kerry's previous career high in strikeouts was seven at Clemson last season.
• Eyster is 3-for-7 with a pair of home runs and four RBI to start the year.
• Julian Bosnic made his career debut on the mound in the win.
• Carolina has taken advantage of nine Holy Cross errors to the tune of six unearned runs.