November 30, 2015

Belcher and Greiner shine as USC downs the Dawgs in opener (AUDIO)

Nolan Belcher made what could be his final start at Carolina Stadium Friday (file photo)

Nolan Belcher made what could be his final start at Carolina Stadium Friday (file photo)

The 15th ranked USC baseball team coasted to a 7-2 victory over Georgia in the opening game of their SEC series Friday night at Carolina Stadium.  The Gamecocks picked up production from almost everyone in the lineup. Seven different players drove in their seven runs. Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner had the most impressive night at the plate coming up just short of hitting for the cycle. Greiner  had three hits; a triple, a double and a single. He struck out in his other at-bat, admitting that he was swinging for the moon to complete the cycle.

AUDIO: Grayson Greiner [2:30]

Greiner missing out on the cycle was about the only thing that didn’t go the Gamecocks away against the struggling Bulldogs.  Chad Holbrook couldn’t find much to critique about his team in during his post game news conference, describing it as a “complete” game for his club. The Gamecocks scored their seven runs on eight hits and didn’t commit an error in the field.

AUDIO: Chad Holbrook post game [3:40]

The seven runs was more than enough for starting pitcher Nolan Belcher. The senior left-hander has been a hard luck loser the past couple of weeks, but went 7 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out eight and didn’t walk anyone to make the most of the final home SEC start of his career.

“This is why he was recruited to South Carolina. To be a weekend starter and pitch in these kind of games,”  Holbrook said.

Adam Westmoreland notched the final two outs in the eighth inning before Tyler Webb came in to polish things off with a perfect ninth.  The three Gamecock pitcher combined for 11 strikeouts and only walked one.

The win moves USC to 35-14 overall and 14-10 in the SEC. They will try to pad their postseason resume some more when the series resumes Saturday afternoon at 1:00. It will be the official “Senior Day” and the senior players will be honored in the pregame festivities.

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