The USC baseball team opened its season with a 10-3 win over Duquesne Friday afternoon at Carolina Stadium in Columbia. Ray Tanner could not have asked for a better way to start the 2010 season. It was sunny and 62 degrees and the Gamecock bats were hot.
Ray Tanner postgame audio
Jeffery Jones had the hottest bat for Carolina. He hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in five for the Gamecocks. He is playing in place of Nick Ebert, who is out dealing with an academic issue. Remember though, Jones was slated to start last year before Ebert got hot and took the job so he is more than capable of holding down the fort until Ebert comes back. That is assuming Ebert returns, although indications are that he will at some point down the road.
Jeffery Jones postgame audio
Blake Cooper got the start on the mound and pitched five innings and struck out seven and walked two. He gave up two runs. He didn’t have his best stuff and was behind in the count more than he wanted to be, but he had more than enough to keep the outmatched Dukes off balance.
Nolan Belcher was the first man out of the bullpen and he looked solid. He struck out four in his two innings of work. He gave up one hit and didn’t allow a run. He struggled in the preseason but I would venture to say this kid ends up in the weekend rotation before the end of the season.
All in all, a nice way to start the season for the 10th ranked Gamecocks. They will play game two tomorrow at 4:00. Sam Dyson will start on the mound.