Freshman right-hander Braden Webb struck out 11 batters in eight scoreless innings and limited third ranked Vanderbilt to just two hits as second ranked South Carolina defeated the Commodores 4-0 in game two of a three-game SEC baseball series. The Gamecocks improve to 24-4 and 7-1 in the SEC with Vanderbilt dropping to 22-5 and 5-3 in league play.
Fresh off 14 strikeouts vs. Ole Miss last week, Webb was masterful again on the mound not allowing a hit until a two-out double in the sixth inning and just two in the contest. He is now 6-1 on the year. Junior left-hander Josh Reagan pinched a perfect ninth to preserve the shutout victory. Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright suffered his first loss of the year and is now 4-1 for the season. He allowed two runs on six hits in 7.1 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the top of the third inning. Marcus Mooney led off with an infield single, Gene Cone followed with a base hit and LT Tolbert was hit on a 2-2 pitch to load the bases with no outs. John Jones would drive in Mooney with a sac fly to center and Alex Destino knocked a RBI single up the middle to score Cone and give the Gamecocks a two-run lead.
Destino would come up with a huge out to end the fifth inning, as he corralled a long fly ball off the bat of Will Toffey. It was a scary play though as Destino went sprinting straight into the left field wall on the catch to record the third out. Destino was shaken up, but able to walk off on his own power despite a possible sprained left shoulder. Clark Scolamiero replaced him for the final four innings.
It remained 2-0 until the ninth when the Gamecocks got some insurance. DC Arendas led off with a single and was sacrificed over into scoring position by Mooney. After Gene Cone reached on a throwing error by VU second baseman Ethan Paul, the Gamecocks would scratch across two more runs as LT Tolbert belted a triple to right field to score both runners.
Post game interviews from TheBigSpur:
VIDEO: Chad Holbrook
VIDEO: Alex Destino
VIDEO: Braden Webb