March 1, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina batted around to score nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and junior left-hander Steven Neff struck out a career-high seven batters in four innings of work to earn his first win of the year as South Carolina defeated Furman 14-1 on Tuesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. Carolina is now 7-0 on the year while the loss drops Furman to 4-5 for the season.
Neff, in his first start of the season in a predetermined split, was effective in four scoreless innings as he limited Furman to just two hits and one walk allowed. He is now 1-0 on the year. Nate Smith for Furman also worked four innings and allowed one run on one hit with three strikeouts and one walk to suffer the loss. He is now 0-2 on the year.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Christian Walker drew a leadoff walk and after stealing second base eventually scored on Jake Williams’ one-out single to left field. That lead would increase to 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth as Evan Marzilli led off with a single and eventually scored on a balk by Furman reliever Brian Dudzinski. Furman would cut Carolina’s lead to a run in the top of the sixth inning with an unearned run as Aaron Thompkins scored on a two-out passed ball.
Carolina went to work though in the bottom of the sixth and batted around to score nine times to take a 12-1 lead on the Paladins. The frame opened with Jackie Bradley Jr. leading off with a double followed by a two-run homer by Walker, his second round tripper of the season. Consecutive singles by Adrian Morales and Jake Williams kept the momentum going and after a sacrifice bunt the bases were loaded with an intentional walk to pinch hitter Michael Roth. Morales scored on a wild pitch issued by Robert Landers. With two outs and the bases full Furman relievers then had trouble finding the zone as Peter Mooney, Bradley, Walker and Morales all drew bases loaded walks to score the next four runs. With the bases still full Jake Williams then delivered with his second hit of the inning, a two-run single that gave Carolina an 11-run lead.
South Carolina completed the scoring with three runs in the seventh inning. Mooney tallied a RBI single followed by a RBI triple by Bradley. Walker added a RBI single as well to put Carolina ahead 14-1.
South Carolina finished the night with a 12-5 advantage in hits. Williams was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Walker 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI, Bradley 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI and Mooney with two runs scored and two RBI as well. Wingo also went 2-for-3 on the night. Aaron Thompkins and Will Miller each went 2-for-3 to lead Furman.
The Gamecocks return to action on Friday night hosting Clemson at Carolina Stadium. First pitch is 7 p.m.