Founders Park, Columbia: Power at the plate. Power on the mound. That was the recipe for success for South Carolina Sunday afternoon at Founders Park. The Gamecocks displayed their power bats and their power arms in a 7-1 win that clinched the series in front of a sellout of 8242. The Gamecocks improved to 11-1 on the season and the Tigers fell to 5-6.
For the first time in the series, the Gamecocks scored first with a run in the bottom of the first. Clemson tied the game with their lone run in the top of the second. Gavin Casis then put the Gamecocks on top for good leading off the bottom of the second with a solo homer to left field on the first pitch he saw from Billy Barlow.
Casas was heard from again in the fourth, this time a two-run shot to dead away center field off Ty Olenchuk for his seventh home run of the season. Just as Gamecock fans were settling down from that, Talmadge LeCroy ripped a homer to left field to make it a 5-1 game.
The Gamecocks added single runs in the fifth and eighth innings to close out a ten-hit offensive output.
On the mound, Jack Mahoney started and went the first four innings. He gave up the one run but scattered four hits and struck out four. James Hicks followed and allowed just two hits while striking out ten. Mahoney threw 83 pitches, 51 for strikes, and Hicks had 53 pitches, 39 for strikes.
The Tigers did not get a runner past second base after scoring their one run in the second inning. Hicks dominated the Tigers in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings setting down nine a row, including one stretch of four straight strikeouts.
Hicks earned the win to go to 3-0 on the season. Barlow took the loss and is 0-1.
LeCroy won the Tom Price Award as the Gamecocks’ MVP. He went 5 for 10 at the plate with six RBIs. Freshman centerfielder Cam Cannarella won the Bob Bradly Award as the Tigers’ MVP. He was 6 for 13 at the plate with two RBIs.