USC Gamecocks Baseball

South Carolina bats wake up late, help Gamecocks top Davidson

Jacob Olson drove in two runs in the seventh inning Tuesday against Davidson.
Jacob Olson drove in two runs in the seventh inning Tuesday against Davidson. mwalsh@thestate.com

South Carolina’s offensive woes continued Tuesday night against Davidson but the Gamecocks found enough at the end to claim an uneasy 3-2 victory.

Jonah Bride doubled home Alex Destino in the eighth inning to give USC consecutive wins for the first time since winning three in a row on March 25, 26 and 28.

“All in all, there is no such thing as a bad win,” South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “It didn’t look so good there in the middle innings, but we had enough juice to win the game. It’s a little bit of a relief, but we’ll take it and move on.”

The Gamecocks were held without a hit for six innings by Davidson starter Josh Hudson but tied the score on a two-run single by Jacob Olson in the seventh inning. Bride doubled to lead off the inning to break up the no-hit bid. That ended the night for Hudson, who came into the contest with an 8.82 ERA.

South Carolina found ways to score against the Davidson bullpen. Matt Williams drew a walk and Madison Stokes executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. The Wildcats brought in the third pitcher of the inning in Austin Leonard.

Leonard hit pinch-hitter John Jones to load the bases before Olson delivered the two-run single to right-center field to tie it.

Destino walked to open the eighth, and LT Tolbert sacrificed him to second. Bride followed with his second double of the game, this one into the left field corner.

Bride had two of the three South Carolina (23-13) hits.

“We gave up one hit earlier this year in a loss to UNC Greensboro, and baseball has a way of giving some back,” Holbrook said “We got outhit seven to three but found a way to win the game. Jonah got a big game-winning RBI for us.”

Colie Bowers pitched 1 2/3 innings to earn the victory. He allowed a hit to the first batter he faced then retired the final five to improve to 3-0. Tyler Johnson, who missed more than a month with soreness, pitched the ninth inning to earn his fifth save. He allowed a one-out double but got back-to-back strikes to end it.

USC starter Cody Morris, a freshman right-hander, retired the first eight hitters before giving up an infield single with two outs in the third. He got a fly ball to centerfield to end that inning but things unraveled quickly in the fourth.

Will Robertson led off the inning with a drive into the Davidson bullpen to give the Wildcats (18-16) a 1-0 lead. One out later, Brian Fortier blasted another solo home run halfway up the bleachers in left field to make it 2-0.

Morris’s night ended after Eric Jones reached on an error and Justin Lebek was hit by a pitch with two outs.

Colby Lee got out of the jam before getting into a bases loaded jam in the fifth. Reed Scott relieved him and induced a fly ball to right field to get out of the inning.

South Carolina will travel to Florida to begin an important three-game series on Thursday. The Gamecocks and Gators are tied for second in the SEC East, two games behind leader Kentucky.

Davidson

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Johnson cf

5

0

2

0

0

1

Robertson rl

5

1

2

0

0

3

Acosta dh

5

0

1

0

0

3

Fortier 1b

3

1

1

0

1

0

Jones 3b

4

0

0

0

0

0

Sidwell c

4

0

0

1

0

1

Lebek lf

3

0

0

1

0

1

Bazin ss

4

0

0

0

0

3

Agard 2b

3

0

1

0

0

0

Centracchio ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

TOTALS

37

2

7

2

1

13

South Carolina

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Olson rf

4

0

1

2

0

0

Cortes lf

2

0

0

0

2

0

Cullen c

2

0

0

0

0

0

Taylor c

2

0

0

0

0

0

Destino dh

3

1

0

0

1

1

Tolbert 2b

3

0

0

0

0

0

Bride 3b

4

1

2

1

1

0

Williams 1b

4

1

0

0

1

0

Stokes ss

4

0

0

0

1

1

Blair cf

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

24

3

3

3

6

2

Davidson

000

200

000

2

USC

000

000

21x

3

E — Jones; Tolbert; Bride. DP — Davidson 1. LOB — Davidson 10; S. Carolina 8. 2B — Johnson; Bride 2. HR — Robertson; Fortier. HBP — Lebek; Williams; Blair; Jones. SH — Tolbert; Stokes. SB — Johnson; Olson; Cortes. CS — Blair.

Davidson

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Hudson

6

1

1

1

4

1

Ashur

 1/3

0

1

1

1

0

Leonard, L 0-1

 2/3

1

1

1

1

0

Whitmire

1

1

0

0

0

1

USC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Morris

3 2/3

3

2

2

0

5

Lee

1

1

0

0

1

2

Scott

1 2/3

1

0

0

0

1

Bowers W, 3-0

1 2/3

1

0

0

0

2

Johnson S, 5

1

1

0

0

0

3

WP — Lee. HBP — by Morris (Lebek); by Hudson (Blair); by Hudson (Williams); by Leonard (Jones). Umpires — HP: Clint Lawson 1B: Barry Chambers 2B: Thomas Haight 3B: Todd Drake. T — 3:03. A — 6,750.

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