May 5, 2010
Columbia, S.C. – Jackie Bradley Jr. and Whit Merrifield each tallied their first multi-homer games of their careers and South Carolina set a Carolina Stadium record with seven home runs on the way to a 14-6 win over Winthrop on Wednesday night in non-conference baseball action. Carolina is now 35-9 on the year while the loss drops Winthrop to 21-22 for the season. South Carolina returns to action on Friday night at Kentucky in the first of a three-game SEC baseball series. First pitch is 7 p.m. with the game televised live on Fox Sports South by the Big Blue Network. It can also be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
The two teams combined for 31 hits with the Gamecocks tallying 17 and Winthrop finishing with 14 for the evening. Merrifield’s two homers now puts him in the lead for Carolina with 10 on the year. Bradley now has seven after his two home runs with Christian Walker, Jeffery Jones and Bobby Haney also going yard for the Gamecocks. Haney set a career-high in hits with a 4-for-4 day at the plate with three runs scored. Merrifield tied his season-high and was 3-for-4 with four runs scored. Bradley drove in four runs and also scored three. Walker finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI as well. For Winthrop, Sean Sullivan, Tyler McBride, Matt Thielepape and Patrick Gamblin all tallied two hits apiece to lead the Eagles at the plate.
Gamecock reliever Jose Mata earned the win after 3.2 innings out of the bullpen. He allowed two runs on five hits with a strikeout. He is now 5-0 for the season. Winthrop starter Ken Monteith lasted only 1.1 innings and allowed five runs on six hits with a walk to suffer the loss. He is now 0-2 for the year.
Sullivan led off the game for the Eagles with a solo home run to left center, his sixth of the season. Sullivan stroked a 1-2 pitch to give Winthrop a 1-0 lead. That lead would be short-lived for Winthrop though, as the Gamecocks stormed back with three solo home runs in the bottom half of the first. Whit Merrifield led off with a solo homer that was followed by a towering homer to right center by Jackie Bradley Jr. It was the second time in four games that the Gamecocks have gone back-to-back. With one out, the Gamecocks tallied their third home run as Jeffery Jones hit his seventh of the season to right field to give Carolina a 3-1 advantage.
Winthrop would tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the second with two more runs off of Gamecock starter Colby Holmes. Matt Thielepape walked to open the inning followed by a single by Adam Gliebe. With one out, Patrick Gamblin drove in Thielepape with a sacrifice fly to center field. With two outs and Gliebe on third, Holmes would throw wild and past catcher Brady Thomas allowing Gliebe to score an knot the game up at three apiece.
South Carolina regained the lead in the bottom of the second with two more runs and knocked Winthrop starter Ken Monteith from the game in the process. Bobby Haney opened the frame with a double down the right field line and after a wild pitch scored on an infield single by Scott Wingo. Merrifield added a solo home run, his second homer of the game and 10th of the season to give the Gamecocks a 5-3 cushion.
South Carolina batted around in the bottom of the fourth and scored five times to take a 10-3 lead. Haney led off with a single followed by a bunt base hit by Wingo. Merrifield reached base on a sacrifice bunt that saw third baseman Chas Crane throw wide of first base to load the bases. With the bags full, Bradley walked to score Haney for the first run of the inning. Walker followed and drove in a pair of runs as he drilled a single to left field scoring Wingo and Merrifield. Thomas would add a RBI fielder’s choice and Adam Matthews had a RBI double as well.
The teams traded runs in the sixth inning. A leadoff double by Matt Thielepape would lead to a run for the Eagles as he scored on a RBI ground out by Matt Pierpont. In the bottom half, Christian Walker launched his fifth home run of the year to left center giving Carolina an 11-4 lead. Winthrop scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning including a solo home run by Chas Crane. The Gamecocks answered again as Haney opened up the bottom of the seventh and tallied his third hit with a solo home run to right field, his first homer of the season. After a one-out single by Merrifield, the Gamecocks would go ahead 14-6 on a two-run homer by Bradley, his second round tripper of the year and seventh of the season.