March 17, 2010
Columbia, S.C. – Whit Merrifield and Scott Wingo had three hits apiece and six Gamecock pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts as South Carolina (13-4) earned an 8-3 win over Davidson (11-6) on Wednesday night at Carolina Stadium. The win is the seventh consecutive for the Gamecocks as they head into conference play on Friday night hosting Tennessee for a three-game series beginning at 7 p.m. All three games this weekend can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with live video broadcast available at GamecocksOnline.com.
Merrifield’s three hits included a pair of doubles, the third time in his career that he has tallied two doubles in one game. Wingo’s three hits also ties a career-high. They each scored two runs. Nick Ebert also was 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI as the Gamecocks pounded out 11 hits on the evening.
Gamecock reliever Jose Mata would earn the win in relief and is now 2-0 on the year. He pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and allowed no hits and just one walk while striking out one batter. Davidson starter Chris Lamb lasted only two innings and allowed four runs on five hits in defeat with three strikeouts and two walks. He is now 1-3 on the year.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Merrifield had a leadoff single and Christian Walker drew a one-out walk to give Carolina a pair of runners. Kyle Enders would drive in Merrifield with a RBI base hit and Ebert also had a RBI single to score Walker.
That lead increased to 4-0 in the second inning. Wingo tripled to left center with one out and scored on Whit Merrifield’s RBI double to the gap in right centerfield. With runners on the corners, Merrifield would then score on a strikeout wild pitch that saw Morales advance to second allowing Merrifield to score from third to home on a throw by Davidson catcher Tommy Piacenza.
Davidson touched Gamecock starter Colby Holmes for two unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning. Drew Gadaire reached base to open the inning on a Gamecock error as first baseman Christian Walker muffed a throw from third baseman Whit Merrifield. Danny Weiss followed with a base hit that gave the Wildcats a pair of runners. With two outs, Jack Berman lined a base hit into right field that scored both Gadaire and Weiss. Carolina struck with a run in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 5-2 as Merrifield scored on Adrian Morales’ RBI groundout.
The Gamecocks added a pair of runs in the sixth inning as Ebert had his second RBI with a two-out single that scored Morales. After a wild pitch and a walk, Ebert would eventually score on Robert Beary’s two-out RBI base hit.
Davidson added a run in the top of the seventh as Sam Payne hit a solo home run to right field. Carolina closed the scoring out in the bottom of the seventh with Morales laying down a successful squeeze bunt that scored Wingo, who had doubled off the right field wall to open the frame.
Several Gamecock pitchers stood out in the victory. Holmes was strong in four innings in his first career start allowing just three hits and two unearned runs while striking out six batters. Jimmy Revan struck out two batters in 0.2 innings of work with Ethan Carter pitching a strong 1.1 innings of relief and striking out three batters. Left-handed reliever Michael Roth struck out two batters in one inning and Parker Bangs closed the game out with a final strikeout to end the game.