March 30, 2010
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina belted a season-high five home runs and the Gamecock pitching staff recorded double-digit strikeouts for the 13th time this season as South Carolina defeated The Citadel 10-1 on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. The win marks head coach Ray Tanner’s 600th victory at South Carolina and his 995th career win. Carolina is now 20-5 on the year while the loss drops The Citadel to 18-7 for the season.
Carolina tallied 13 hits in the game including the five home runs, tying a Carolina Stadium record for home runs in a single game. Robert Beary homered and finished 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI as well as a double. His four hits tied a season-high by a Gamecock player for hits in a game. Jackie Bradley Jr. also was 3-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored and three RBI. Whit Merrifield had a base hit to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He has hit safely in 24 of 25 games this year. Jeffery Jones, Michael Roth and Scott Wingo also tallied home runs for the Gamecocks. Jones, Wingo and Merrifield are tied for the team lead with five home runs apiece.
Freshman right-hander Colby Holmes earned his first career victory after five innings of work. He allowed just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. John Taylor hurled two scoreless innings of work with a pair of strikeouts, Matt Price pitched a perfect inning of relief and struck out the side and Ethan Carter closed the game out with a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout. Holmes is now 1-0 on the year. Citadel starter TJ Clarkson suffered the loss and is now 1-2 on the year. He lasted only 1.1 innings and allowed six runs, four earned, on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
“I’m just grateful to be a coach here (at South Carolina),” said head coach Ray Tanner. “I’ve never made a play, never gotten a hit, never fielded (a ground ball). I’m just grateful for the players and great coaches (I’ve worked with). I’m just glad to be in this position.”
South Carolina wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Whit Merrifield would reach base to open the inning on a fielding error by Citadel second baseman Legare Jones. That set the stage for Jackie Bradley Jr., who launched a two-run homer over the wall in center field to put the Gamecocks out in front. They would take a 3-0 lead later in the inning as Adam Matthews reached base on a two-out single and scored on Robert Beary’s two-out RBI double.
That lead increased to 6-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Scott Wingo and Whit Merrifield each drew one-out walks with Bradley driving in his third run of the game with a RBI single that scored Wingo. Merrifield would score on a passed ball to catcher Bryan Altman and with the bases loaded, Adam Matthews walked to score Bradley and giving the Gamecocks a six-run cushion.
Brad Felder put The Citadel on the board in the top of the third inning on a solo home run for the Bulldogs, his fifth home run of the year. That would be it for the Bulldogs though as Carolina came back with a single run in the sixth inning on Wingo’s homer and three more runs in the seventh with Jones, Beary and Roth all connecting on home runs.