USC Starts SEC Slate With Arkansas
By USC SID
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Twelfth-ranked South Carolina belted out 19 hits to tie a season high with Marcus Mooney 4-for-4 with four RBI and Gene Cone driving in a career-high four runs as the Gamecocks defeated Davidson 15-2 on Wednesday evening at Founders Park.
Junior right-hander Matt Vogel recorded his first win of his career after allowing just one run on two hits with three strikeouts in two innings of work. Davidson left-hander Evan Roberts suffered the loss and is now 0-2 on the year. He allowed three runs on five hits in two innings with two strikeouts.
The Gamecocks got on the board first and took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. After Dom Thompson-Williams hit an infield single, stole second and third base, DC Arendas drove him in with a double to left field. Mooney singled to third and stole second to set up Cone for a two-run double down the right field line.
Carolina added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. A two-run single by Cone scored Mooney and TJ Hopkins. The Gamecocks made it 7-1 in the fifth inning. Hopkins would drive in a run with a two-out single and Mooney would add a two-out RBI double.
South Carolina made it 10-1 with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Hopkins would knock a double off the wall in the field to score a pair of runs. Mooney would walk to score the third run of the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded, Mooney drove in two runs with a double down the right field line to score Hopkins and Jonah Bride, giving the Gamecocks a 12-2 lead. For the second time in the inning, Carolina loaded the bases and Hunter Taylor drove in a run with a single to left field. Ross Grosvenor followed with a double to score two more.
Matt Vogel came in with the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the third inning and struck out two batters and induced a groundout to keep Carolina ahead three runs.
The 6-9 hitters for Carolina combined for 11 hits, 11 runs and eight RBIs.
• Dom Thompson-Williams has safely reached base in all 19 games this season and set a career high with three stolen bases.
• Gene Cone tallied a career-high four RBIs, besting his previous record of three.
• Alex Destino extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
• For the second time this season, Mooney tied his career-high with four hits. He also tired a career high with four RBIs.
• Carolina tied a season-high 19 hits, which was set in game two of the three game series with Penn State in February.
• The Gamecocks tied a team-high for the season and Founders Park record of six stolen bases, which was set against Furman last week.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“This game was a nice win for us. I thought that the big point in the game was Matt Vogel coming in with the bases loaded. The game was still in the balance with no one out, and he got out of that inning. That should give Matt a boost of confidence going forward because he’s got a power arm with some great off-speed stuff. If he’s in the strike zone he’s very tough to handle. I thought Tyler [Haswell] threw the ball well tonight too. He locked some innings for us and we needed an outing like that from someone today to insure that our bullpen was fresh and ready to go for the weekend. We got some big hits from some guys down in the order. TJ [Hopkins] had three hits, DC [Arendas] was 2-for-2 and [Marcus] Mooney was 4-for-4. [Gene] Cone at the top of the lineup was important as well. We swung the bats well, and we’ve been playing some pretty consistent baseball of late. We played another clean game tonight, and we look forward to getting SEC play started on Friday.”
South Carolina hosts Arkansas in a three-game series for the SEC opener. The first pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday. It will be broadcast live on SEC Network +. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”