COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID)– Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe improved to 6-0 on the year with 7.1 scoreless innings of work and Second-ranked South Carolina pounded out 13 hits en route to its 11th shutout of the season in an 8-0 victory over 20th ranked Tennessee. The Gamecocks sweep the series and improve to 24-3 and 6-3 in league play while the loss drops the Volunteers to 19-7 and 3-6 in the SEC.
Six Gamecock position starters tallied two hits in Sunday’s win. Joey Pankake and Tanner English both went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Elliot Caldwell and Grayson Greiner added two RBI apiece as well with DC Arendas 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Marcus Mooney 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Crowe yielded eight hits and struck out three batters in the win. Cody Mincey added 1.2 hitless innings of relief, with one walk and three strikeouts. Andrew Lee suffered the loss for Tennessee and is now 3-1 on the year.
“It was a great weekend for us,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “I told our guys after the game, in this league there is very little separation amongst teams and we could easily be sitting up here having lost two out of three. A pitch here, a pitch there, a play here, a play there and we lose two out of three. We consider ourselves very fortunate. I don’t think there’s much separation between us and Tennessee. I was very happy with the way we played today. It was a meaningful game for Wil Crowe. A Tennessee boy, he grew up being a Volunteer fan 20 minutes from their campus. I’m sure he felt a little pressure today going against his home state school. He threw the ball extremely well and that was really neat to see.”
South Carolina promptly took the lead over Tennessee, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Caldwell led off the inning with a single through the left side, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Pankake’s one-out RBI single. The base hit extended Pankake’s hitting streak to 15 games. Pankake would move to second when a pitch from Lee hit Kyle Martin and Greiner would bring him home with a base hit to left center.
Three two-out singles in the bottom of the third gave the Gamecocks a 3-0 advantage. With DC Arendas and Marcus Mooney on base, Tanner English ripped a 2-1 pitch to left-center for a RBI base hit to drive in Arendas.
A four-run fifth inning for the Gamecocks would extend their lead to 7-0. Connor Bright and Arendas opened the frame with a pair of singles with Mooney drawing a walk to load the bases for English. Bright was able to score as Lee issued his second straight walk to English. With the bases still loaded, Caldwell knocked a double down the right field line scoring both Arendas and Mooney. Pankake drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to right field. Greiner drove in the eighth run of the game with a RBI double to right center in the bottom of the eighth.
The Gamecocks return to action on Tuesday night hosting Appalachian State. First pitch is 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”