Top of the order, Coyne vault Gamecocks to midweek win
South Carolina’s top of the lineup does it again.
The three hitters anchoring the top of the Gamecock lineup would produce all game long, driving in seven runs as South Carolina dominated Harvard 12-3 on a chilly night at Founders Park.
The win pushes their streak to five games heading into a big series matchup with the reigning national champion Florid Gators.
“I think we’re starting to figure it out a little bit going into Florida,” Noah Campbell said. "That’s when we need to start figuring it out; SEC play is big-time. We’re going in there feeling pretty good. We just need to keep it rolling, get the bats rolling and win the series and continue it on the rest of the year.”
Hitting leadoff Campbell jumpstarted the Gamecocks (12-5), who were down one in the first inning. He walked, stole two bases and came around to score on an RBI single from Madison Stokes.
Campbell would finish with two hits as he and the rest of the top three—TJ Hopkins and Madison Stokes—combined to go 5-for-9, score six times and drive in seven of the team’s 12 runs.
Of the trio’s 15 plate appearances they reached base 11 times: five hits, four walks and two hit by pitches.
“Throughout the games I’ve been getting better and better just by playing with them. Once I start getting on base TJ, LT or Stokes can knock me in,” Campbell said. “It really is contagious. I can see myself scoring from any one of those guys.”
Stokes would tie the game in the first and tack on another RBI in the fourth as part of a four-run inning to effectively put the game away.
They’d plate five more in the seventh thanks to a Campbell RBI single, Hopkins hit-by-pitch and an LT Tolbert sac fly. The other two runs came on back-to-back RBI singles from Jonah Bride and Riley Hogan.
South Carolina’s nine starters each had a hit and the 14 hits were one shy of tying the season high. They’d walk six times Wednesday, four of which were drawn from the top of the order.
“They’re good hitters and they’re performing well because they finally know their approach, they know how to take their approach into the game and they’re taking good swings,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “When you do all those things, the hits start to follow.”
After a few tumultuous innings from Logan and Ridge Chapman, freshman Parker Coyne settled the game down by pitching a career-high 1.2 no-hit innings and striking out four batters, the most of his career.
Logan Chapman pitched 3.2 innings, giving up a career-best five hits while striking out five. Ridge Chapman relieved him and worked himself into a mess, putting two runners on with one out.
Coyne (1-0) would come in after that, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat and pitching out of another two-on, one-out situation in the sixth.
He picked up his first career win after Hunter Lomas and Graham Lawson threw two perfect innings.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster when they put you in tough spots,” Coyne said. “It makes you feel like they trust you and trust you to get outs.”
Player of the game: Noah Campbell reached base in four of his five plate appearances, coming around to score on three of those. He finished with two hits, a walk and two RBI.
Pivotal moment: With two runners on and one out in the sixth, Coyne would get a groundout and strikeout to continue his shutout performance.
Up next: South Carolina starts SEC play this weekend, hosting Florida in a three-game set. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. with Adam Hill getting the ball.