Carolina Crushes Furman 14-4
GREENVILLE, S.C. (USC SID) — Fourth-ranked South Carolina belted out 18 hits with TJ Hopkins 4-for-5 and Dom Thompson-Williams 4-for-4 with three doubles and a triple as the Gamecocks defeated Furman 14-4 on Wednesday night at Fluor Field. South Carolina is now 30-8 on the year with Furman dropping to 15-22 for the season.
Carolina’s 18-hit total was one short of the team’s single-game high for the year. Along with Hopkins and Thompson-Williams, Marcus Mooney went 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. John Jones added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Carolina had six doubles and two triples for the contest.
Furman went ahead 1-0 with an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Carter Grote led off with a single and Jake Crawford reached base with a one-out base hit. With two outs and runners on the corners, Landon Kay knocked a roller toward short. Gamecock shortstop Marcus Mooney was able to come up with the play but threw wide of first as Kay reached base and Grote scored.
Carolina answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Dom Thompson-Williams led off with a double off the Green Monster wall in left field and scored on Jonah Bride’s RBI double down the left field line. Bride would eventually score on Mooney’s one-out sacrifice fly to right field.
Carolina increased the lead to 3-1 in the third inning. TJ Hopkins led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Alex Destino’s one-out groundout to first base. Two more runs in the fourth inning gave Carolina a four-run cushion. Mooney reached base on a one-out bloop single to right and scored on Gene Cone’s RBI triple to right field. Hopkins would drive in Cone with his third hit of the day, a base hit up the middle to make it 5-1 Gamecocks.
Furman cut Carolina’s lead to 5-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Crawford connected for a two-out RBI single followed by a RBI double off the bat of Sky Overton.
The Gamecocks responded again, this time with three runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead five runs. Mooney was hit by a pitch to open the frame and scored on Hopkins one-out double down the right field line, his fourth hit of the night. John Jones would follow with a RBI double as well, this to the gap in left-center. Destino would drive in Jones with a RBI single to give Carolina the 8-3 advantage.
Carolina scored five more in the seventh inning to take a 13-3 lead. Mooney drove in a run with a RBI single as did Jones. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dom Thompson-Williams would clear the bases with a triple to the gap in left-center, his team-leading third triple of the season. Both teams traded runs in the eighth inning with Mooney driving in his third run with a RBI single.
Gamecock right-hander Reed Scott pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. He is now 2-1 on the year. Furman right-hander Matthew Quarles suffered the loss and is 3-5 for the season. He allowed two runs on three hits in two innings.
After Furman cut Carolina’s lead to a pair of runs in the fifth, Reed Scott kept the Gamecocks ahead with a strikeout of Griffin Davis with the bases loaded. Carolina then scored three runs in the sixth to take a five-run lead.
Carolina’s 18-hit total was the third-highest total by the Gamecocks this year, one short of the season-high 19 that the team had vs. Penn State and Davidson earlier in the year.
Gene Cone extended his hitting streak to 24 games with the fourth inning triple. Cone has also reached base in 27 straight contests.
Dom Thompson-Williams tied a single-game school record with three doubles on Wednesday night. It was the second time this season a Gamecock had three doubles in a game as Alex Destino tallied three on March 29 vs. College of Charleston. Thompson-Williams leads the Gamecocks now with 11 doubles on the year. He had a career-high four hits. Thompson-Williams also had two stolen bases and leads the Gamecocks with 15 on the year.
TJ Hopkins had a career day at the plate as well going 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Hopkins also stole two bases.
Junior right-hander Taylor Widener tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 4.2 innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits.
Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt and freshman right-hander Braden Webb were two of 60 players in the nation named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List. In addition, Schmidt, Webb and Josh Reagan were named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame National Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
It was a good night for us, obviously we swung the bats pretty well. The ball was carrying a little bit, it was a good night to hit. Hopefully tonight will do a lot for our guys confidence from an offensive standpoint. It was good to see Dom swing it the way he did, Jones squared up a ball with a double in the gap. We had a lot of extra base hits tonight. Good overall night for us. The most important part of the game was in the fifth, it was 5-3, tying run on second and Reed made a big pitch there and got a punchout. We played pretty well offensively the rest of the way. It was a good road win for us, we will take a breath and get ready for another tough weekend.
South Carolina returns home to begin a three-game series vs. Missouri on Friday night at Founders Park. First pitch for the series opener is 7 p.m. Saturday’s game is set for 4 p.m. and will feature the official dedication for Founders Park. Sunday’s series finale is 1:30 p.m. All three games will be available on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”