Looking for their first midweek win of the 2017 season, the Gamecocks hosted Charlotte Tuesday afternoon at Founders Park. Freshman Sawyer Bridges was on the mound for USC in the first start of his college career. How did the Gamecocks fare?
FINAL: South Carolina 5, Charlotte 4
CHA (2-2) – 012 000 0000 = 4-9-1
USC (3-1) – 110 030 00x = 5-11-2
WP – Colie Bowers (1-0)
LP – Matt Horkey (0-1)
SV – Tyler Johnson (1)
HR – USC, Jacob Olson (2nd, none on), Alex Destino (5th, 1 on)
RBI – Alex Destino (2), Justin Row (1), Jacob Olson (1)
LOB – USC 8, CHA 9
A – 6,503 (Announced)
Time – 2:59
Gamecock Pitchers: Sawyer Bridges (2.1 IP), Brandon Murray (2.0), Colie Bowers (2.0), Josh Reagan (1.1), Tyler Johnson (1.1)
-- Freshman Sawyer Bridges made his first career start for the Gamecocks on Tuesday. He sailed through the first inning, retiring Charlotte in order, before encountering some problems in the top of the second when Charlotte scored a game-tying run on a throwing error by shortstop Madison Stokes that allowed the runner at first to come around and score.
-- The Gamecocks relied on some shaky play from Charlotte in the bottom of the first as Hopkins reached on a wild throw from the Charlotte shortstop before scoring on one pitch. He took off for third and the ball got past the Charlotte catcher, allowing him to race him for the brief 1-0 lead.
-- USC grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Jacob Olson launched a pitch into the visitor’s bullpen in left-center for his first career homer. Three consecutive two-out singles positioned the Gamecocks to add to the inning’s tally, but Justin Row fanned looking.
-- Charlotte knocked Bridges out of the game in the top of the third when a double, walk and double with one out tied the score at 2-2. Brandon Murray replaced Bridges on the mound and he allowed a RBI groundout to his first batter as the 49ers took a 3-2 lead.
-- Murray struck out the side in the top of the fourth. He exited in the top of the fifth after throwing 34 pitches. A leadoff double and groundout gave Charlotte a runner at third for Colie Bowers. Bowers fielded a hopper to the left of the mound and fired a throw home to nip the Charlotte runner at the plate.
-- Carlos Cortes recorded the first extra-base hit of his career in the bottom of the fifth when he doubled to center. Row promptly doubled to left to score Cortes and even the score at 3-3 with one out. After a pitching change, Alex Destino greeted the new 49ers pitchers by walloping a two-run homer over the RF wall to give the Gamecocks a 5-3 lead. The blast gave Destino six RBI in four games.
-- Colie Bowers worked through the top of the sixth without major difficulty. Freshman 1B Riley Hogan from Orlando made his first start for USC and recorded two hits, including a leadoff single in the seventh, before being lifted for pinch-runner. Bowers got the first out in the top of the seventh before being lifted in favor of LHP Josh Reagan, who got two quick outs to head into the seventh-inning stretch with the Gamecocks ahead, 5-3.
-- Reagan pitched through two outs in the top of the eighth when pitching coach Jerry Meyers made the call to bring in closer Tyler Johnson for his first appearance of the season.
-- Johnson surrendered a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, but fanned the next batter for the first out. A bloop single to left put two runners on base before a RBI single cut USC’s lead to 5-4 and put the tying run 90 feet away. But Johnson powered his mid-90’s fastball past the next Charlotte batter for a strikeout and then ended the game with a forceout at second on a grounder. It was Johnson’s first save of the season.
HOW THE RUNS SCORED:
USC 1st - Hopkins reached on throwing error (E6), Row grounded out to third (Hopkins advanced to second), Hopkins stole third and scored on wild pitch, Destino struck out swinging, Cullen fouled out to catcher. 1 RUN, 0 HITS (USC 1-0).
CHA 2nd – Nichting singled to right, Ober popped up to catcher (bunt), Sherer reached on fielder's choice and Nichting advanced to second on a throwing error (E6) and scored, Jarrett singled to center, Yett struck out swinging, Jones struck out swinging. 1 RUN, 2 HITS (TIED 1-1).
USC 2nd - Stokes grounded to first unassisted, Hogan grounded to third, Olson homered to left-center (RBI), Bride singled to left, Blair singled to right, Hopkins singled to pitcher, Row struck out looking. 1 RUN, 4 HITS (USC 2-1).
CHA 3rd - Hampton struck out looking, Netzer doubled to right-center, Mims walked, Nichting doubled to left (RBI), <Murray for Bridges>, Ober grounded to second (RBI), Sherer walked, Jarrett struck out looking. 2 RUNS, 2 HITS (CHA 3-2).
USC 5th - Blair grounded to short, Cortes doubled to center, Row doubled to left (RBI), <Geoghegan for Horkey>, Destino homered to right (2 RBI), <Vogler for Geoghegan, Cullen struck out swinging, Stokes struck out swinging. 3 RUNS, 3 HITS (USC 5-3).
CHA 9th -