It didn’t matter whether it was Ole Miss or South Carolina with the hot start this series. South Carolina won either way.
In a 4-0 win Saturday, a three-run top of the first by his offense allowed South Carolina starter Adam Hill some breathing room as the No. 10 Gamecocks finished off the sweep of the No. 9 Rebels.
USC won Thursday’s opener, and then rallied to beat Ole Miss on Friday.
The Rebels only threatened a couple of times Saturday in the series finale.
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“It was a little bit of a strange game. I don’t think Adam Hill had his best stuff, his best command. But he battled,” said USC coach Chad Holbrook. “He gutted it out for us and he kept them off balance enough. I never would have thought the three runs in the first would have held up. (Ole Miss is) too good, offensively.”
The Gamecocks improved to 6-0 in Southeastern Conference play and 23-2 overall. Ole Miss dropped to 20-5 overall and 2-4 in the SEC.
Hill pitched a gem for the Gamecocks, which was a trend throughout the weekend with performances by starters Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb the two prior days. Hill made it through six innings (no runs, four hits, four strikeouts, three walks) before giving way to Brandon Murray and Tyler Johnson, who got his second save of the season.
Hill said the pitching staff is full of confidence, and he was happy to have with the early advantage to work with.
“When you have a lead out there, it’s a lot easier to get quick outs and build momentum,” he said. “Jumping on teams like that is key.”
In the first inning, Gene Cone led off with a double and later scored on a groundout by John Jones. Alex Destino doubled and scored on a Dom Thompson-Williams single. Jonah Bride singled to score Thompson-Williams.
That was all the scoring in this one, except for a run in the fifth inning when a Thompson-Williams sacrifice fly scored Jones.
“It feels great,” said Thompson-Williams of the perfect SEC start for USC. “We’ve got 30 games and every one of them counts. It’s good to start 6-0. We have a big advantage over a lot of teams.”
Thompson-Williams said the USC pitchers were on all weekend.
“Real stellar,” he said. “We just barely got into our pen. Offensively, it relieves a lot of pressure.”
“This weekend things just kind of went our way, and that’s what I told the guys,” Holbrook said. “Sometimes things in this league bounce your way and sometimes they don’t. The key to having a great year is when they don’t bounce your way still trying to find a way to win. Over the course of this weekend, things kind of went our way.”