After three pitches Wednesday, South Carolina hitters could see the ball was flying out of Carolina Stadium.
Whit Merrifield drilled the first pitch he saw over the leftfield wall and Jackie Bradley followed two pitches later with another solo shot. That set the stage as the No. 6 Gamecocks set a Carolina Stadium record with seven home runs in a 14-6 victory against Winthrop.
For good measure, Jeffrey Jones added a solo shot one out later. All this came after the Eagles' Sean Sullivan led off the game with a home run.
Before it was over, Merrifield and Bradley had the first multi-home run games of their careers and Christian Walker and Bobby Haney joined in the home run parade.
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"I think we took a great batting practice," Merrifield said. "The ball was jumping out and we were making some good swings, so I thought it was going to be a good offensive day."
The downside was that only Bradley's second home run came with runners on base. The first six were solo shots.
It was a good night all around for the USC hitters, who banged out 17 hits. Haney collected a career-high four hits to lead the way. Merrifield and Walker each recorded three hits and Bradley and Scott Wingo pitched in with two apiece.
The one inning in which USC (35-9) scored but didn't hit a home run was the fourth, when the Gamecocks still put five runs on the board.
"Earlier today, the ball was jumping a little bit," South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. " Some of those balls were hit but some of them drifted, too. They kept going and going and going."
Haney came in batting .203 after going 0-for-6 in Sunday's 20-15 victory against Alabama. He raised his average to .230 with the 4-for-4 performance.
The senior shortstop doubled and singled in his first two at-bats. After drawing a walk in his next at-bat, he hit his first home run of the year to lead off the seventh.
"It's been frustrating all year," Haney said. "I have to thank coach Tanner for keep putting me in the lineup."
Tanner said Haney's defense has kept him in the line-up. If the hitting comes around, that could be a plus for the Gamecocks in the final 12 games of the season.
"He's been gradually putting together better at-bats," Tanner said. "His practices have been better. It was nice to see."
The home run came a half inning after Haney turned in a defensive gem. The Eagles (21-22) had runners on first and third with no outs when Eddie Rohan hit a ball up the middle.
Haney drifted to his left, fielded the ball behind the bag and flipped it to Wingo with his glove hand. Wingo threw to first to complete the double play.
Tanner thought the play of Haney, Wingo and Bradley in center proved to be a difference.
"Their defense in the middle probably kept that game from being 14-12, 14-10, 14-11," Tanner said.
Jose Mata, who relieved starter Colby Holmes and improved to 5-0, thought that play belonged on SportsCenter.
"That's the nicest, greatest play I've ever seen, at least pitching-wise when I'm playing" Mata said. "We know we don't have to strike everybody out with defense behind us like that."
South Carolina travels to Kentucky (24-20, 7-14) for a three-game weekend series starting Friday. The Gamecocks hold a one-game lead on Florida in the SEC East.
"We're going to take it like we do every weekend," Tanner said. "We're playing a good team. They have a lot to play for. They are trying to get in the SEC Tournament."