On a day that just so happens to be National Pancake Day, USC shortstop Joey Pankake hit his first career home run, a solo shot, that gave the Gamecocks the edge in a 2-1 win over Presbyterian Tuesday afternoon in Columbia.
“Yeah, I got to go get me some free pancakes today at IHOP, so that was pretty fun,” Pankake said. That was great. I always do that back home in Easley. I have for the past few years. So I started the day off nice.”
Pankake’s 4th inning blast was one of just four hits the Gamecocks picked up on Blue Hose starter Beau Dees. The freshman lefty out of Marlboro County High School was the hard luck loser despite giving up just the two run in his 7 1/3 innings.
AUDIO: Ray Tanner postgame presser
AUDIO: Joey Pankake and Nolan Belcher postgame
Freshman Jordan Montgomery made his first career start on the mound for USC. The lefty allowed one earned run on four hits in four innings of work. He was relieved by Nolan Belcher, who allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings and earned his first win of the season. Ethan Carter pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 innings before Tyler Webb came on to get the final out and pick his first save of the season.
The win moves the second ranked Gamecocks to 7-0 this season. Four of the seven wins have been by one run. Friday they open a series with 15th ranked Clemson. That game is in Charleston. Game two is in Columbia, and the final game Sunday is in Clemson.
The loss drops Presbyterian to 0-8 this season. The Blue Hose were playing without All-Conference and preseason All-American first baseman Brad Zebedis. He injured his hamstring against Georgia earlier this season.