USC Gamecocks Baseball

Kentucky lowers the boom on Gamecocks in opener

Chad Holbrook: 'We weren't good enough to put up a fight'

South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook reacts after the Gamecocks are clobbered by Kentucky 19-1.
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South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook reacts after the Gamecocks are clobbered by Kentucky 19-1.

South Carolina entered Friday’s game against Kentucky in desperate need of a win after dropping five-straight series openers and four-straight series overall.

Instead, the Gamecocks put together an uninspired performance in a 19-1 loss to the Wildcats, USC’s most lopsided loss since 1997.

Kentucky entered the series having never won at Founders Park and having lost 11 straight to the Gamecocks in Columbia.

The Wildcats responded by scoring their most runs in an SEC game since 2009 and recording their most lopsided SEC win in school history.

“They were just awesome in all facets of the game,” Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “We weren’t good enough to put up a fight against them. It’s one game. Hopefully we’ll bounce back and play better and make it competitive tomorrow.”

Kentucky outhit USC 20-7 and scored in every inning other than the first and eighth. The Wildcats scored at least three runs in five innings, including a five-run seventh.

Tristan Pompey went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs for Kentucky, while Luke Becker was 2-for-2 with two homers and five RBIs. Connor Heady went 3-for-4 with a homer and a pair of RBIs for the Wildcats.

“Their approach is really well. They’re really sound. They hit fastballs. I think 17 of their 20 hits were on fastballs,” USC starter Wil Crowe said. “That’s their approach. They’re wanting to hit the fastball with one strike or no strikes and when they get behind in the count they just want to battle and battle.”

Crowe, asked why so many fastballs were thrown, said that was the game plan.

“I think I threw just the way I wanted to and how we were planning to throw,” Crowe said. “Tomorrow that might change how we call them, but today we went with our game plan and that was it.”

No South Carolina player had more than one hit. The Gamecocks’ lone run was scored in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Ross Grosvenor. John Jones also doubled for USC for his first hit of the season.

Crowe (4-4) suffered the loss for the Gamecocks, surrendering 10 hits and seven runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings.

Colby Lee, Graham Lawson and Sawyer Bridges pitched in relief with each allowing at least three earned runs.

South Carolina (24-16, 9-10 SEC) and Kentucky (30-13, 13-6 SEC) play game two of their series at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“The game was in hand on their side early. They had the game in control from the get go,” Holbrook said. “We’ll see how we bounce back tomorrow. I don’t know. I thought we were going to play great tonight and we didn’t so I hope I have the right kind of kids that will compete and put us in a better position tomorrow but we’ll have to wait and see.”

South Carolina pitcher Wil Crowe reacts after Friday's loss to Kentucky

Kentucky

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Pompey rf

5

2

4

4

0

0

Collett ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

Heyer rf

1

0

0

0

0

1

White 1b

4

2

2

0

0

1

McNeill 1b

1

0

0

0

0

1

Reks lf

3

4

1

1

3

0

Cottam dh

2

0

0

0

1

0

Becker ph/dh

2

3

2

5

1

1

Mahan 2b

4

2

2

1

1

1

Lewis 2b

0

1

0

0

0

0

Squires c

5

2

3

3

0

1

Gei c

1

0

0

0

0

0

Marshall 3b

6

0

1

0

0

1

Carson cf

3

1

1

0

1

0

Wilson cf

2

0

1

1

0

0

Heady ss

4

2

3

2

2

1

TOTALS

44

19

20

17

9

7

USC

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Hopkins cf

3

0

1

0

0

2

Blair cf

1

0

0

0

0

0

Tolbert 2b

2

0

0

0

0

1

Row ph/2b

3

0

0

0

0

0

Cortes lf/rf

3

1

1

0

1

0

Cullen 1b

2

0

0

0

0

1

Grosvenor 1b

1

0

1

1

0

0

Bride 3b

2

0

1

0

1

0

Olson rf

3

0

1

0

0

0

Destino lf

1

0

0

0

0

1

Jones dh

4

0

1

0

0

2

Stokes ss

3

0

0

0

0

1

Hogan ph

1

0

1

0

0

0

Taylor c

4

0

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

33

1

7

1

2

8

Kentucky

013

133

503

19

USC

000

000

010

1

E — Cullen; Stokes; Mahan. LOB — Kentucky 7, USC 10. 2B — Grosvenor; Jones; White; Mahan; Wilson. HR — Pompey; Becker 2, Wilson. SB — Reks.

Kentucky

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Hjelle W, 7-2

6

3

0

0

1

6

Schaenzer

2

3

1

1

1

2

Keen

1

1

0

0

0

0

USC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Crowe L, 4-4

4 2/3

10

7

4

3

4

Lee

1/3

1

3

3

2

0

Lawson

1

5

4

4

0

0

Bridges

3

4

5

5

4

3

WP — Crowe; Lawson; Bridges. Umpires — HP: Morris Hodges. 1B: Larry Short 2B: Rickey Armstrong 3B: Justin McCulley. T — 3:44 A — 7,753.

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