Five USC pitchers limited North Carolina to six hits and no runs, and the Gamecocks punched across two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth for a 5-0 win over the Tar Heels at Truist Field in Charlotte. The Gamecocks, who are ranked as high as #3 this week, improved to 27-3. The 13th ranked Tar Heels dropped to 20-9.
The Tar Heels had a hit in every inning from the second thru the seventh, but each came with two outs, and the Gamecock pitcher was able to retire the side in each instance. The Tar Heels got a runner as far as second base twice, in the fifth inning and the seventh inning
Matthew Becker pitched the first three innings and gave up two hits. Eli Jerzembeck went the next three innings and allowed three hits. Nick Proctor gave up the final hit in the seventh. . Eli Jones struck out the side in the eighth and Cade Austin had a 1-2-3 ninth. The Gamecock hurlers struck out nine and did not walk a batter.
North Carolina starter Dalton Pence limited USD to a pair of hits and a pair of walks over the first four innings. Matthew Mathijs followed and shutout the Gamecocks over the next two innings.
USC finally broke thru against Matt Poston in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Michael Braswell walked and scored on a Jonathan French double down the left field line. Evan Stone followed with an RBI double down the left field line for a 2-0 lead.
In the 8th, Gavin Casas doubled to left, and Ethan Petry singled to the pitcher to put runners on the corners. Cole Messina singled to the shortstop to drive in one run. Then after a walk to Dylan Brewer loaded the bases, Talmadge LeCroy delivered an RBI single to center. A double-play ball by Braswell plated the fifth and final run of the game for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks and Tar Heels have met every season in Charlotte since 2016, with the exception of the 2020 Covid year. The Gamecocks trail in these Queen City games 4-3 but they have won three of the last four meetings.
The Gamecocks return to Founders Park Thursday night to open a three game series against #1 ranked LSU. Weather, however, could impact the games on Friday and Saturday. North Carolina plays a series at Georgia Tech starting Thursday night.