March 15, 2016
GREENVILLE, S.C. – LT Tolbert and Marcus Mooney each homered for the first time in the season and were part of a 16-hit attack as 12th ranked South Carolina defeated USC Upstate 12-6 Tuesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. The Gamecocks improve to 16-2 on the year with the Spartans dropping to 8-10 for the season.
Sophomore right-hander Brandon Murray earned the win and is now 1-0 on the year. He pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out two batters. USC Upstate starter Tyler Jackson suffered the loss and is now 2-2 on the year. He allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
USC Upstate took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Three consecutive singles from Jaden Savage, Jordan Ford and Zach Krider led to the first run of the game. A RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Anthony Vaglica would score the second run.
Carolina quickly answered in the top of the third on LT Tolbert’s first career homer. Marcus Mooney led off with an infield single. With one out and Mooney on second base, Tolbert launched a 3-2 pitch over the right-center wall to tie the game up at 2-2. USC Upstate would go back ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning.
Carolina answered again though with two runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead. With one out, Marcus Mooney launched his first homer of the year over the Green Monster wall in left field to tie the game. Gene Cone would follow with a double into the gap in left-center and score on John Jones’ two-out infield single giving the Gamecocks a one-run advantage.
DC Arendas increased the lead to 6-3 in the sixth inning with a two-run double. Dom Thompson-Williams led off the frame with a walk and Jonah Bride singled to open the frame. After Chris Cullen’s sac bunt, Arendas knocked a double off the wall in left field to score both runners.
Carolina added three more runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth. Jonah Bride had a pair of sac flies in both the seventh and eighth with Cullen driving in two runs with a double in the seventh and Jones and Thompson-Williams also adding RBIs. USC Upstate scored its final three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Arendas’ two-run double in the sixth increased Carolina’s lead to three runs and was followed up by a three-run seventh inning.
South Carolina’s streak of error-less games ended at six as Carolina committed a pair of errors in the second inning.
Carolina is now 10-0 on the year when tallying double-digits in hits. It was South Carolina’s fourth game of the season with 10 or more runs.
Five different Gamecocks drove in at least two runs (Tolbert, Jones, Bride, Cullen and Arendas).
South Carolina is now 10-0 in series history vs. USC Upstate.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“We swung the bats pretty well tonight. I think we got contributions from a lot of different people. [Marcus] Mooney had four hits, and that was a big home run for us. We were behind right there, giving away a few opportunities and made an error on defense. At that point in time we were searching, and Mooney had a big swing of the bat to get everyone going. After that we had some good swings of the bats and played defense for the rest of the game. [Brandon] Murray gave us a good outing. Tyler [Johnson] closed the door for us. That was a good road win for us against a good Upstate team. I was impressed with their team.”
Carolina returns back to Columbia for a Wednesday night contest vs. Davidson. First pitch is 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”