Behind a six-run third inning in which the Gamecocks batted around, No. 7 South Carolina defeated Bucknell 17-4 for a win on Opening Day of the 2014 season Saturday at Carolina Stadium in game one of a doubleheader.
Leading 3-0 going into the third, the Gamecocks (1-0) put the game away in a wild third inning. After a Marcus Mooney groundout, Max Schrock got his second walk of the game. Joey Pankake was the hit by a pitch before an RBI single from Kyle Martin - his second of the day - scored Schrock. Consecutive RBI doubles followed from Grayson Greiner and Connor Bright before a 2-RBI home run from DC Arendas just over the right field wall, the first of his career, cleared the bases and ended the scoring.
South Carolina would go on to take advantage of shoddy play by Bucknell to score nine more runs on just one hit, benefiting from 13 Bison walks, four hit-by-pitches, two balks, an error and five wild pitches.
Arendas (3-for-4) and Bright led the way offensively, each tallying a career-high 3 RBIs, while other Gamecocks with more than one hit were Mooney (2-for-3), Martin (2-2, 2 RBIs) and Greiner (2-3, 2 RBIs).
On the mound, Jordan Montgomery increased his scoreless inning streak to 29 dating to last season with five innings of three-hit baseball. In command nearly the whole way, he struck out four and walked one to get the win before being replaced by freshman Taylor Widener in the top of the sixth. Widener pitched two scoreless innings and was relieved by fellow freshman Matthew Vogel, who struggled with control, walking two and allowing four hits and four runs, all earned, in 1.2 innings. Freshman Trey McNickle replaced Vogel and pitched the last out of the game.
The Gamecocks wasted no time building a lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Marcus Mooney drew a walk, moved to second on a balk from losing starter Bryson Hough, then was joined on the basepaths at first by Schrock courtesy of Hough's second walk in as many batters. Both runners advanced a base on a deep fly to the track in right from Pankake, then a double to nearly the same spot from Martin scored Mooney. A groundout to short from Greiner scored Schrock before the inning ended on a Bright strikeout.
Game two is scheduled for a 4:10 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore lefthander Jack Wynkoop will take the mound to face fellow lefty Dan Weigel for Bucknell.