May 17, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sixteen runs on sixteen hits led sixth ranked South Carolina to a 16-4 victory over The Citadel in it’s final regular season home game on Tuesday night at Founders Park. The Gamecocks improved to 39-13, while the Bulldogs fell to 16-37 on the year.
Sophomore right-hander Brandon Murray earned his second win of the season after 1.2 innings pitched with one walk and three runs on five hits. Junior left-hander Nate Brecklin suffered his first loss of the season in 0.1 innings pitched with two walks and three runs on two hits.
The Gamecocks got out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Walks to Gene Cone and Alex Destino gave the Gamecocks a pair of runners with Dom Thompson-Williams loading the bases on a hit by pitch. John Jones knocked a single to left field to score Cone and Destino. Thompson-Williams and Jones then completed a double steal to set Jonah Bride up for a RBI single to left field.
South Carolina added three additional runs in the bottom of the third after Alex Destino and Thompson-Williams each singled and Bride drove them in with a double down the left field line.
The Citadel got on the scoreboard when Stephen Windham hit a two-out solo home run to left field in the top of the fourth inning.
Carolina put up seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bride led off the inning with a single to left field and both Madison Stokes and Chris Cullen were hit by pitches to load the bases. DC Arendas followed with a grand slam to right center. With Cone and Marcus Mooney on base, Destino singled to right field to score Cone then Bride doubled to right center to score Mooney and Destino.
The Bulldogs cut the Gamecocks’ lead to nine in the top of the sixth inning when they added three runs. With two outs and a runner on third, Bret Hines singled, Barrett Charpia tripled and William Kinney singled to add three runs for The Citadel.
LT Tolbert, Clarke Scolamiero and Brandon McIlwain would drive in the final three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. McIlwain’s RBI single was his first career hit and RBI in a Gamecock uniform.
A three-run first inning gave the Gamecocks a lead they would not relinquish.
Ten different Gamecocks had at least one hit on the way to a 16-hit evening.
– All nine starters for the Gamecocks successfully reached base and eight of the nine recorded at least one hit.
– DC Arendas recorded his first career grand slam and a season-high four RBIs. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
– Tonight’s game marked the ninth time this season the Gamecocks have had 10 or more runs. The Gamecocks are 9-0 in those contests. South Carolina also is 20-1 when reaching double-digits in hits.
– Jonah Bride had a career-high in hits as he went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a career-high five RBI.
– Alex Destino went 2-for-2 in four plate appearances with an RBI and three runs.
– Gene Cone also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
Obviously, I am proud of DC [Arendas]. It was his last regular season game here at Founders Park. For him to hit a grand slam, it was a pretty special night for him. That’s something he will always take away from here. This was certainly a good win for our team. Having our 39th win here, even though it was against a Citadel team who has been struggling, was an important win because we certainly want to go to Tuscaloosa with some momentum and feeling good about ourselves. We had 16 hits and 16 runs tonight, so hopefully our guys are feeling pretty decent about themselves as we go down there for our last regular season SEC series. All in all, this was a good win that caps a great regular season for us at home. We went 30-4 at home, and that’s a pretty good record. We’ll get on the bus tomorrow with a good frame of mind and feeling good about ourselves and the way we performed tonight. Hopefully we’ll go into our last regular season series and play our best baseball.
South Carolina is back in action Thursday in Tuscaloosa as they face Alabama in a three-game series. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on the SEC Network + and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”