Morris' Gem, Early Offense Lifts Baseball Past ECU
June 3, 2018
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Sophomore Cody Morris struck out seven in a career-best 7.1 innings pitched and the University of South Carolina baseball team put up three runs in the first inning on its way to a 4-2 win over East Carolina in game four of the 2018 NCAA Greenville Regional. The Gamecocks advance to the regional championship game set for Sunday (June 3) at 6 p.m. against either ECU or UNC Wilmington.
The Gamecocks scored three in the first frame. Danny Blair reached on an infield single and went to second on a balk. Madison Stokes walked with one out and both runners scored on Jonah Bride‘s double down the line in left. Bride came in after LT Tolbert singled and advanced to second on an error.
The Pirates got a run back in the fourth on Spencer Brickhouse’s sacrifice fly to center. The Pirates pulled within one in the sixth on a double steal attempt. Hunter Taylor threw out Brickhouse at second but Bryant Packard scored from third, making it 3-2.
Carolina added insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning. Justin Row was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored as Jacob Olson doubled down the line in left field. The Pirates got the leadoff runner in the ninth but a pop out, fielder’s choice and a strikeout ended the game.
Morris allowed five hits and two runs with the seven strikeouts and four walks in 7.1 innings. Ridge Chapman got a huge strikeout in the eighth while Sawyer Bridges picked up his fourth save of the year, striking out the final batter in the ninth.
Blair had three hits to lead the Gamecocks offensively. Tolbert added two hits while Bride drove in a pair.
With Carolina holding on to a 3-2 lead in the eighth, Ridge Chapman came in and struck out Bryant Packard on three pitches. Packard had three hits on the night before that at-bat.
Danny Blair now has four hits in the regional, as he went 3-for-4 with a stolen base in Saturday’s game.
- The Gamecock pitching staff struck out nine Pirates while the Carolina offense struck out just four times on the night.
- Hunter Taylor threw out three base runners in tonight’s win and now has 21 on the season.
- Cody Morris lowered his season ERA to 3.68 and now has 83 strikeouts in 78.1 innings pitched.
- Jacob Olson had his second double of the tournament, driving in a run in the eighth. Olson now has a team-best 20 doubles.
- Carolina improved to 8-2 all-time against the Pirates in NCAA Tournament play.
South Carolina will play in the regional championship game on Sunday night (June 3) at 6 p.m., facing the winner of the East Carolina/UNC Wilmington contest, which starts at 2 p.m.