The home team’s bats remained hot in Columbia, but it was Noah Hall’s gem on the mound that stole the show for South Carolina, Saturday. Hall pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight in the Gamecocks 7-0 victory over Kentucky at Founders Park. Fans were hoping to see the first complete game of the season by a USC pitcher, but Cam Tringali entered for the ninth to close out the Wildcats.
South Carolina opened the bottom of the first with three straight singles but were unable to plate any runs after Kentucky starter Sean Harvey worked his way out of the jam. The Gamecocks loaded the bases again in the second and were this time able to score a run on Brandt Belk’s sacrifice fly. Third baseman Jalen Vasquez’s single drove home Braylen Wimmer with the game’s second run. The hot hitting continued as Belk added to his big day with a two-run homer in the fourth, driving home Evan Stone, extending USC’s lead to 4-0. The Gamecocks added three insurance runs in the eighth. Andrew Eyster singled to left, driving in two, followed by a bases loaded walk to Michael Braswell.
Through the first two games of this weekend series, it has been complete domination by the Gamecocks. USC has outscored Kentucky 18-3 and are getting both timely hitting and pitching. South Carolina (26-23, 12-14) and Kentucky (26-23, 9-17) are back at it for Game 3 at 1:30 p.m., Sunday.
Story by Pat Daniel