USC Gamecocks Baseball

Power surge lifts Gamecocks over USC Upstate

South Carolina announced Tuesday afternoon that starting shortstop Madison Stokes will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken wrist.

His replacement in the lineup, Justin Row, filled in nicely later in the day against USC Upstate.

Row hit his first career home run in the second inning and finished with a career-high three hits to help the Gamecocks to a 6-3 win against USC Upstate at Founders Park.

“I feel ready to go every game. If Coach calls on me or doesn’t, I’m ready,” Row said. “We just want to fight, and that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we plan to do.”

USC also announced Tuesday that catcher Chris Cullen is out for the season, but the Gamecocks shook off the bad news and picked up a win in their final midweek game of the season to improve to 31-21 heading into a critical three-game series with Georgia beginning Thursday.

“It was a tough day for us when we got news that Cullen’s going to be out for the year and Stokes is going to be out for the year,” Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “I was wondering how our kids would take it once the game started, but we played well.”

USC got off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by Carlos Cortes, his ninth of the season.

The Spartans answered with a pair of runs in the second inning before Carolina regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning on Row’s home run and a Jonah Bride RBI single.

Upstate cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth inning, but the Gamecocks responded with a pair of runs in the seventh on a two-run homer by Alex Destino.

Destino and Cortes have both homered nine times on the year and are tied for the team lead.

“We can be a different team offensively if we can get Alex and Carlos swinging the bat at the same time,” Holbrook said. “They’re big time threats in there, and it was good to see them both get home runs tonight.”

Cody Morris (3-1) pitched six strong innings for South Carolina, allowing three runs with seven strikeouts, and Colie Bowers pitched the final three innings to earn his fourth save.

Bride, Cortes, Row and Jacob Olson each had multi-hit games for the Gamecocks with Row and Cortes finishing with three hits apiece and Olson and Bride adding two.

With Stokes out six to eight weeks, Row will get plenty of opportunities moving forward, and Holbrook is hopeful he can continue to perform like he did on Tuesday.

“Row was awesome. He’s a good little savvy baseball player,” Holbrook said. “I love his makeup. He’s a tough kid. He deserved that opportunity tonight, and I’m glad he made the best of it. He can do some things for us offensively.”

In addition to Stokes and Cullen, the Gamecocks have already lost ace Clarke Schmidt and freshman Sawyer Bridges for the year. Still, Holbrook said the injuries will not be used as an excuse.

“There's no excuses here. It's South Carolina. We expect to win,” he said. “You can feel sorry for yourself and pout and say it’s not meant to be, or you can keep playing. … We’ve got to try to figure out a way to win.”

Upstate

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Ortiz 2b

4

0

0

0

0

1

Raiff lf

4

0

1

0

0

2

Carpenter c

4

0

1

0

0

0

Shimko rf

4

1

1

0

0

2

Hawkins 3b

4

1

2

0

0

1

Bourke ss

4

1

2

1

0

0

Schwertfeger cf

4

0

1

1

0

1

Harris 1b

4

0

1

0

0

2

Bryson dh

3

0

0

1

0

2

TOTALS

35

3

9

3

0

11

USC

ab

r

h

rbi

bb

k

Tolbert ss

3

0

1

0

1

0

Grosvenor 1b

1

0

0

0

0

1

Flint 2b

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bride 3b

4

1

2

1

1

0

Cortes dh

4

1

3

2

0

0

Olson rf

4

1

2

0

0

0

Destino lf

4

1

1

2

0

2

Hogan 1b

3

0

0

0

0

0

Williams 1b/2b

1

0

0

0

0

0

Row 2b/ss

4

1

3

1

0

0

Taylor c

4

0

1

0

0

1

Blair cf

4

1

1

0

0

1

TOTALS

36

6

14

6

2

5

Upstate

020

001

000

3

USC

220

000

20x

6

DP — S. Carolina 1. LOB — UPST 5; S. Carolina 8. 2B — Shimko; Bourke; Taylor. HR — Cortes; Destino; Row. SB — Schwertfeger; Row. CS — Harris; Cortes.

Upstate

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Campbell

1

3

2

2

0

1

Van der Weide L, 2-2

2 2/3

7

2

2

1

2

Hathaway

3 1/3

4

2

2

1

0

Boocock

1

0

0

0

0

2

USC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Morris W, 3-1

6

8

3

3

0

7

Bowers S, 4

3

1

0

0

0

4

WP — Campbell; Morris; Bowers. Umpires — HP: Tony Walsh 1B: Tyler Simpson 2B: Thomas Haight 3B: Charles Bruce. T — 2:36 A — 6,834.

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