Feb. 19, 2010
BLOG: Opening Day Recap
Jeffery Jones hit a pair of home runs including a grand slam in the third inning as South Carolina defeated Duquesne 10-3 on Friday afternoon in the season opener for the 2010 season. Gamecock starter Blake Cooper went five innings to earn the victory. The two teams will meet in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon with first pitch 3 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. Live audio broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com along with live Gametracker stats. The game can also be heard on 1320 AM and it will be joined in progress on 107.5 FM after the men’s basketball game.
Cooper was effective in five innings of work allowing just two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks. He is now 1-0 on the year and earned his 22nd career victory with the Garnet & Black. He was followed up by left-hander Nolan Belcher, who hurled two scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Matt Price worked an inning and allowed a run but struck out two batters. Freshman right-hander Colby Holmes closed out the game with three strikeouts. The 16-strikeout total by the Gamecock pitchers ties for the sixth highest mark in a game under head coach Ray Tanner and is two short of the single-game team record of 18. Duquesne starter Johnny Elms went three innings and allowed nine runs on eight hits to suffer the loss. He is 0-1 for the season.
Jones got the season off on the right foot with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. After Duquesne scratched across a run in the top of the third, the Gamecocks batted around in the bottom half sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight times to gain a 9-1 cushion. The frame was highlighted by Jones’ grand slam homer. Bobby Haney and Scott Wingo both singled to open the bottom of the third followed by a bunt base hit by Whit Merrifield. Adam Matthews would drive in a run then as a line drive infield single off the pitcher’s glove scored Haney. With one out and the bases still loaded, Jones crushed a 3-1 pitch from Elms to right center for his second home run of the day. The two-homer game by Jones was the first by a Carolina player since both Justin Dalles and Adam Matthews did it last season in the 12-2 NCAA Regional win at East Carolina. Jones’ grand slam was also the first by a Carolina player since Andrew Crisp hit one in a 15-6 victory at Tennessee. Carolina would score three more times in the inning with a RBI by Haney and a two-run single courtesy of Merrifield.
Duquesne would score a single run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Derek Fallecker. South Carolina would score once more in the sixth inning as freshman Christian Walker launched his first career homer to left center. Duquesne scored the final run of the game in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Rick Devereaux.
South Carolina finished with an 11-6 advantage in hits including multi-hit games from Merrifield, Walker, Jones and Kyle Enders. Devereaux and Anthony DeFabio led Duquesne with two hits apiece. South Carolina also tied a single-game record, as the position players were hit by pitch five times in the game.
Any Gamecock fan attending the South Carolina-Tennessee men’s basketball game on Saturday may show their ticket at box office window number 8 at Carolina Stadium and receive a free ticket to Saturday’s baseball game. Please note that those riding the shuttle to the baseball game on Saturday will need to park in Colonial Life Arena Lot B. There will be no charge to park in Lot B on Saturday. Roundtrip shuttle is $2/person.