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Recap: Gamecocks get back on winning track with 12-5 win over The Citadel

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TJ Hopkins hit two home runs in Tuesday night's 12-5 win over The Citadel.
Gamecock Central

Two days after dropping a weekend series to rival Clemson in heartbreaking fashion, South Carolina returned to Founders Park for a weeknight contest against Palmetto State rival The Citadel. RFr. RHP Cody Morris made his debut for USC. How did the Gamecocks fare?

FINAL: South Carolina 12, The Citadel 5

LINESCORE

CIT (3-8) – 000 100 400 = 5-8-2

USC (8-5) – 200 361 00x = 12-15-0

WP – Graham Lawson (1-0)

LP – Alex Bialakis (0-1)

SV – John Parke (1)

HR – USC, Chris Cullen (4th, 1 on), TJ Hopkins (4th none on; 5th, two on); The Citadel, Ben Peden (4th, none on), Barrett Charpia (7trh, one on).

RBI – Chris Cullen (5), TJ Hopkins (4), Jacob Olson (1), Jonah Bride (1), Alex Destino (1),

LOB – USC 9, CIT 8

A – 6,551 (Announced)

Time – 3:03

Gamecock Pitchers: Cody Morris (3.0, 51 pitches), Graham Lawson (3.0, 41 pitches), John Parke (3.0, 54 pitches),

HIGHLIGHTS

-- RHP Cody Morris began his Gamecocks career on the mound by plunking the first batter he faced. Nerves? Perhaps. He settled down and proceeded to strike out two batters in each of the first three innings. He exited after hurling 3.0 innings with six strikeouts and one hit allowed.

-- The Gamecocks jumped on The Citadel starter Alex Bialakis for two early runs in the bottom of the first, both with two outs. Jacob Olson plated T.J. Hopkins (single + stolen base + moved to 3B on groundout) with the first run and Jonah Bride eventually scored Olson with a RBI single two batters later.

-- Graham Lawson replaced Morris at the beginning of the top of the fourth and his first pitch was deposited into the left field stands by Ben Peden for a solo homer to cut USC’s lead to 2-1. But the Gamecocks got that run back and more in the bottom half as a pitching change backfired on the Bulldogs.

-- Hopkins’ triple off the RF wall was immediately followed by Chris Cullen’s 2-run blast onto the concourse beyond the visitors’ bullpen. Two batters later, Hopkins walloped a solo homer into the LF stands for his second career roundtripper.

-- With the Gamecocks holding a 5-1 lead, all drama evaporated in the bottom of the fifth as USC scored six runs on four hits. The Gamecocks first added to their lead on Alex Destino’s RBI single to center. The run-scoring hit gave the junior a team-high 11 RBI.

-- After back-to-back walks, Cullen singled home two runs to give him four RBI for the night. Hopkins homered onto the LF concourse to score three runs, also giving him four RBI. By the time the inning ended, the Gamecocks led, 11-1.

-- Cullen collected his fifth RBI of the night in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring single. The Citadel scored four runs in the top of the seventh off Lawson and John Parke.

-- Cullen was 3-for-4 with 5 RBI. Hopkins homered twice and drove in four runs. Three other players had two hits.

HOW THE RUNS SCORED:

USC 1st - Hopkins singled up the middle, Cortes struck out swinging, Hopkins stole second, Williams grounded to first (Hopkins advanced to third), Olson singled to left (RBI), Destino walked, Bride singled to right (RBI), Tolbert grounded to second. 2 RUNS, 3 HITS (USC 2-0).

CIT 4th - <Lawson for Morris>, Peden homered to left (RBI), Sabatini grounded to second, Leasure struck out looking, Cothran lined to left-center. 1 RUN, 1 HIT (USC 2-1).

USC 4th - <Foulks for Bialakis>, Bride flied to right, Tolbert tripled to right, Cullen homered to left-center (2 RBI), Blair popped to short, Hopkins homered to left (RBI), Cortes flied to right. 3 RUNS, 3 HITS (USC 5-1).

USC 5th - Williams reached on throwing error by shortstop (E6), Olson struck out swinging, Williams stole second, Destino singled to center and advanced to second on a fielding error (E8)(RBI), Bride walked, Tolbert walked, Cullen singled to center (2 RBI), Blair reached on a fielder's choice (6-4), Blair stole second, Hopkins homered to left (3 RBI), Cortes singled to third, Williams walked, Olson grounded to third. 6 RUNS, 4 HITS (USC 11-1).

CIT 7th - Cothran singled to center, Charpia homered to left (2 RBI), Davis hit by pitch, <Parke for Lawson>, Martin walked, Sabo singled to right (RBI), Kinney hit sacrifice fly to center (RBI), Peden flied to left, Sabatini struck out looking. 4 RUNS, 3 HITS (USC 12-5).

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