Bats come alive as Gamecocks take series over Wright State
The Gamecocks offense picked up where it left off Friday, and it resulted in a blowout win over Wright State, 10-5 on Saturday.
It started in the first inning with two outs. Alex Destino reached base after WSU's shortstop bobbled a line drive, then Madison Stokes singled and Matt Williams loaded the bases for Jacob Olson.
The sophomore made starter Zane Collins pay, pulling a pitch down the left field line to clear the bases and give South Carolina a 3-0 lead.
"Playing with a lead is something we want to do every single time out there," Williams said. "When you can jump out to a lead like that it gives you confidence and helps you relax."
They tacked on another in the fourth inning after Jacob Olson singled and Hunter Taylor sliced a double down the right-field line, just barely bouncing fair. Jonah Bride drove Olson in a batter later on a RBI groundout.
Taylor, making his first start this year, finished with a career-high three hits, two of which were doubles that clung to the foul lines.
"That was a little bit of help from Mother Nature with the wind," he said of his doubles. "That ain't never happened to me before. I don't normally have too good of luck."
Wil Crowe came out firing on all cylinders against the Raiders. He gave up one run in 6.1 innings and has allowed one run combined in both of starts.
He started with five strikeouts through four innings and finished Saturday with nine punch-outs. It’s the most strikeouts he’s had in a game since registering 10 against Kentucky during the 2015 season.
"Wil was great. he had all of his pitches, head coach Chad Holbrook said. "I think his outing was much more polished than it was last week, and last week was pretty darn good. He was phenomenal."
The Gamecocks (5-2) chased Collins after the fifth inning, and the Raiders brought in freshman righty Mitch Gremling. They jumped on him early, with Taylor hitting a sky-high double to the corner in left.
He would come around to score on a Danny Blair bunt, sliding past the outstretched arm of the catcher trying to apply the tag. They’d plate another after Justin Row was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Gamecocks would plate six runs in the sixth en route to a 10-0 lead after six innings.
"We can't always rely on our pitchers," Williams said, flashing a wry smile. "It was nice to get a good lead in the first inning and hold it the rest of the game because these guys are so good. Once you get a lead, it's tough to give it up."
Wright State would get on the board in the seventh after Adrian Marquez golfed a three-run homer to right field off Brandon Murray.
The Raiders tried to make a run late, scoring a run in the ninth inning off of Marquez's second home run of the day, off Sawyer Bridges.
"We let our guard down a little bit and that was disappointing. All-in-all it was a big win for our team."
He was yanked with two outs in the ninth for Josh Reagan, who hit a batter with the bases loaded to make it 10-5, but struck out Daniel Arthur to end the game.
The Gamecocks will try and sweep the series Sunday with Adam Hill on the mound, who pitched a one-hitter in seven innings last time out. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The sixth inning: The Gamecocks got a huge offensive output, started by a one-out double from Hunter Taylor, and some timely hitting mixed with a few pitching mistakes en route to a 10 run inning. That put the Gamecocks on cruise control for the last three innings and gave Wil Crowe his second win of the season in as many starts.
Player of the Game
Wil Crowe: The junior dominated in his second start back from Tommy John surgery giving up one runs on four hits in 6.1 innings. The run came in the seventh inning off a home run given up by reliever Brandon Murray, who inherited a runner at second.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Wright State 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 5 10 0
South Carolina 3 0 0 1 0 6 0 0 X 10 11 0
Wil Crowe: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
Brandon Murray: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP
Sawyer Bridges: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K
Josh Reagan: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, HP
Zane Collins: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), BB, 3 K, HP
Mitch Gremling: .1 IP, 2 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, HP
Bear Bellomy: .2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BK
Jorge Lozano: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HP
Daniel Kreuzer: .1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
South Carolina: CF, TJ Hopkins; 2B, Justin Row; DH, Alex Destino; SS, Madison Stokes; 1B, Matt Williams; RF, Jacob Olson; C, Hunter Taylor; 3B, Jonah Bride; LF, Danny Blair; SP, Wil Crowe
Wright State: 2B, Matt Morrow; CF, Zach Weatherford; LF, JD Orr; 1B, Gabe Snyder; DH, Austin Alders; 3B, Seth Gray; SS, Kevin Whatley; RF, Adrian Marquez; C, Brandon Giltrow; SP, Zane Collins