South Carolina junior left-hander Michael Roth allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings of work and Carolina scored two runs in the first inning on its way to a 3-1 victory over Kentucky in SEC baseball action on Friday evening at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks are now 20-5 on the year and 5-2 in the SEC while the loss drops Kentucky to 15-12 and 2-5 in league play. Game two of the series is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on SportSouth.
Roth improved to 6-1 on the year with the victory. He struck out six batters and walked just one. Sophomore right-hander Matt Price pitched a scoreless inning of relief with just one hit allowed to pick up his seventh save of the year. Kentucky starting pitcher Alex Meyer went the distance for Kentucky and allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts and five walks.
Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning taking advantage of Meyer, who was slightly erratic to open the game. Peter Mooney drew a leadoff walk and Scott Wingo was hit by a pitch to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners with no outs. Jackie Bradley Jr. would drive in the first run as he delivered a RBI single to left-center scoring Mooney. With runners on the corners, Wingo scored on a RBI fielder’s choice courtesy of Christian Walker.
Kentucky got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning. Michael Williams opened the frame with a walk and with two outs scored on Chad Wright’s RBI single to right field, also the first hit of the game for the Wildcats and cutting the Gamecocks lead in half.
Carolina extended the lead back to two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as Peter Mooney led off with a solo home run to right field, his first career homer with the Garnet & Black. Mooney crushed the first pitch he saw over the right field wall to give Carolina a 3-1 lead.
It remained that way the rest of the evening as Roth kept the Wildcats at bay and limited the amount of scoring opportunities for Kentucky. Carolina finished with a 6-4 advantage in hits. Bradley went 2-for-3 with a RBI. Mooney reached base three times and scored twice as well.