When Old Dominion coach Jerry Myers was on Ray Tanner’s staff at South Carolina from 1997-2004, he made it routine to have a pitching staff that could match anyone in the country.
Unfortunately for Myers, in his fifth season guiding the Monarchs, that pitching development hasn’t continued at his new school.
The Gamecocks (10-1) pounded the Old Dominion staff for 10 hits and three home runs in a 13-3 shellacking Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. Add in the Monarchs’ 10 walks, and Tanner was sure that Myers was not happy with the performance.
“That’s disappointing for him,” Tanner. “He’s got a couple of pitchers on the shelf right now. He had three pitchers drafted last year, so he’s gotten hit really hard. I know he was hoping his guys would do a little bit better.”
Early on, it appeared USC would be the one to struggle on the mound. Freshman Adam Westmoreland, a former Brookland-Cayce standout, walked two in the first inning, hit another batter and allowed three hits as the Monarchs (3-9) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top half of the frame.
But the left-hander settled down and allowed two more walks in his four innings of work. The Gamecocks defense helped out by turning two of their three double plays in the first and third inning.
Tanner hopes to have him available to pitch in the series finale against Mississippi State this weekend. It was a predetermined split, so Westmoreland, who threw 75 pitches, earned the victory and improved to 2-0.
“(Westmoreland) being around 75 is fine for him to bounce back on the weekend,” Tanner said. “He’s going to get a consideration for a start on the Sunday game, but I don’t know yet. I’m going to get with (assistant) coach (Mark) Calvi and map our course of action.”
The Gamecocks offense then jumped on Monarchs starter Cory Toth. South Carolina sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored seven runs on five hits. Nick Ebert hit his fifth home run in six games, a three-run blast, to give USC the lead for good.
Justin Dalles followed with his third home run. Before it was over, Bobby Haney, Whit Merrifield and DeAngelo Mack added RBIs, and the Gamecocks had a 7-3 lead.
In 11 games, USC has scored 20 first-inning runs.
Andrew Crisp homered in the second, and Mack delivered an RBI single in the fourth to stretch the lead to 9-3.
With Myers reaching into his bullpen, the Gamecocks added four more in the fifth when they batted around for the second time. Dalles had a two-run double, Parker Bangs added another RBI double and Scott Wingo drew a bases-loaded walk.
Dalles went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs after sitting out the past couple games while battling illness. Mack added three hits and Crisp had three to pace the Gamecocks attack.
“It got us fired up, them coming to our park and doing that kind of lit a fire under us,” Dalles said of falling into a first-inning hole. “I was glad to get back in the lineup and get my swings in there after missing a couple days.”
Matt Price, a freshman from Sumter, pitched three innings and did not allow a run. Brandon Miller, the Gamecocks third freshman hurler, made his first appearance of the year, allowing one hit in the final two innings.