USC runs winning streak to seven

Special to The StateMarch 18, 2010 

With SEC play beginning this weekend, Ray Tanner is pleased - but not ecstatic - with where his South Carolina team sits.

The Gamecocks ran their winning streak to seven with an 8-3 victory against Davidson on Wednesday night at Carolina Stadium.

USC has lost two weekend series this season - against East Carolina and Clemson. The Gamecocks came up empty on the Sunday rubber game of each series.

Tanner said if his team had won one of those series and still had the same record, he might feel a little bit better.

The offense has been hot during the current winning streak; the Gamecocks (13-4) have scored an average of nearly 10 runs a game. Against the Wildcats, the damage was done by Whit Merrifield, Scott Wingo and Nick Ebert.

Merrifield was 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Wingo went 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple and drove in three runs. But the most encouraging sign could have come from Ebert.

The senior went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs on two singles. Ebert and Kyle Enders gave USC a 2-0 lead in the first inning with consecutive run-scoring singles. Merrifield singled home Wingo in the second and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0 after two innings.

Ebert came into the game batting .227 with one home run, but two of his outs were hard-hit balls that didn't carry.

Tanner came away pleased with Ebert's outing.

Ebert hit 23 home runs a year ago, but he has struggled to find his stroke since after missing the opening weekend while dealing with academic issues. He has one home run in 49 at-bats.

In their past two games, the Gamecocks have scored 23 runs without the aid of a home run. USC has 14 home runs, while the opposition has 17.

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