After trouncing The Citadel Tuesday night, the Gamecocks returned to Founders Park Wednesday night for a clash with Winthrop. How did the Gamecocks fare?
FINAL: South Carolina 8, Winthrop 6.
WIN (5-7): 401 010 000 = 6-11-3
USC (9-5): 100 200 14x = 8-11-0
WP – Reed Scott (1-1)
LP – Riley Arnone (1-1)
SV – None
HR – USC, Chris Cullen (4th, in on); Alex Destino (8th, none on);
RBI – Matt Williams (2), Chris Cullen (2), Alex Destino (1), Carlos Cortes (1),
LOB – USC 7, Winthrop 11
A – 6,512
Time – 3:10
Gamecock Pitchers: Brandon Murray (0.1), Colby Lee (3.2), Reed Scott (5.0)
-- Brandon Murray’s first start of the season didn’t last long. After striking out the first Winthrop batter, Murray allowed three singles, two walks and a bases-clearing triple to the next six batters before being lifted in favor of freshman RHP Colby Lee of Latta. By the time the top of the first ended, Winthrop had a 4-0 lead.
-- The Gamecocks got one run back in the bottom of the first when TJ Hopkins, who came into the game with a .400 percent on-base percentage, led off with a walk, advanced to third on a single by LT Tolbert and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Williams.
-- Lee quietly did a nice job in his Gamecocks debut. He induced an inning-ending double play in the top of the second, sandwiched two strikeouts around a RBI double in the top of the third and worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth by getting three straight outs.
-- Lee’s nice work paid dividends in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Cullen homered for the second straight night, ripping a line drive two-run blast into the lower left field stands to cut USC’s deficit to 5-3. Cullen started the week with four RBI in 10 games. He now has 11 RBI.
-- Looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend against Clemson, Reed Scott took the mound at the beginning of the top of the fifth. The first three batters against Scott: single, hit by pitch, RBI single. After that, Scott settled down to set down the next three Winthrop batters to keep the deficit at 6-3.
-- After Cullen’s two-run homer and a double by Stokes in the bottom of the fourth, Winthrop pitchers retired 10 straight Gamecock batters until Hopkins doubled with one out in the bottom of the seventh. He eventually scored on an RBI single by Matt Williams, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
-- The Gamecocks game-long quest to get even with Winthrop finally occurred in the bottom of the eighth. Alex Destino jumpstarted the four-run outburst with a solo homer into the USC bullpen. After a double and HBP, Stokes laid down a sacrifice bunt. The throw to first was wide of the mark and the tying run scored. Moments later, Carlos Cortes delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to left. Stoke then scored on a wild pitch.
WIN 1st – Thomas tripled to right (3 RBI), English singled to left (RBI)
USC 1st - Williams hit sacrifice fly to right (RBI)
WIN 3rd – Hicks doubled to right-center (RBI)
USC 4th - Cullen homered to left field (2 RBI)
WIN 5th – Williams singled to left (RBI)
USC 7th – Williams singled to right-center (RBI).
USC 8th – Destino homered to right-center (RBI); Stokes reached on throwing error (bunt) and Bride scored; Cortes hit sacrifice fly to left (RBI); Stokes scored on wild pitch.