Feb. 21, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A four-run sixth inning helped lead 17th-ranked South Carolina to an 8-1 victory over Albany to sweep a three-game series at Founders Park. The Gamecocks are 3-0 with Albany dropping to 0-3 on the year.
John Jones went 2-for-4 with three RBI and finished the weekend 6-for-10 and nine RBI. LT Tolbert added three hits with two runs scored, with Marcus Mooney reaching base in all four plate appearances and adding three runs scored.
Tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning South Carolina raced ahead with a four-run frame. With runners on the corners and one out, pinch hitter Gene Cone drove in Tolbert with a RBI fielder’s choice. After a double by Mooney put two runners in scoring position, a Danny Blaire infield single scored Cone. Jones would add a two-run single to make it 5-1.
Carolina added three runs in the eighth inning on a sac fly by cone and a two-run single by Dom Thompson-Williams.
Junior right-hander Colie Bowers earned the win in relief with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Albany Joe Romero suffered the loss.
A pair of Gamecocks errors led to an Albany run in the top of the first inning. With two outs and Kyle Sacks on first base, Gamecock catcher Chris Cullen threw down to first base, but his throw sailed wide of Alex Destino and advanced Sacks into scoring position. Sacks would score on the next play as a throwing error by shortstop Mooney on a grounder allowed the first run to score.
Jones would tie the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth. The frame would open with Mooney drawing a leadoff walk. With two outs and Mooney on third base, Jones would drive a single up the middle scoring Mooney.
The four-run sixth inning gave the Gamecocks a lead they would never relinquish.
The Gamecocks did not allow an earned run and allowed just four runs the entire series vs. the Great Danes.
â€¢ Today’s attendance was 7221.
â€¢ John Jones went 6-for-10 in the series and compiled a total of nine RBIs.
â€¢ Taylor Widener allowed just one unearned run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings of work in his first start of the year.
â€¢ South Carolina’s bullpen did not allow a run in 11 innings of work in the series and struck out 13 batters. The bullpen allowed just four singles and four walks.
â€¢ South Carolina hit .323 (31-for-96) for the weekend with a .446 on base percentage. Carolina committed just two errors and fielded .983 for the weekend.
“It was a really good weekend for us. Other than what we did in the first inning today, I thought our kids played clean baseball. That first inning was not typical of us. We pride ourselves on playing conservative defense. We got a little out of character there, but we rebounded well and made some really nice plays, defensively, over the course of the weekend. I thought our pitchers were outstanding all weekend long. It was really great to see Taylor Widener throw the ball the way he did today, in his first start of the year. He had command of the strike zone and, he used all of his pitches very well. He has a power arm that can certainly help us. Tyler Johnson continued to be impressive in his second appearance. All in all, it was a good weekend for us. We battled and competed at the plate. I couldn’t be more pleased with my team and how we played.”
The Gamecocks will return to Founders Park on Tuesday for a matchup with Appalachian State. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”