Michael Roth worked 7.2 scoreless innings and combined with Gamecock closer Matt Price for a seven-hit shutout as third ranked South Carolina defeated Tennessee 4-0 on Thursday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Carolina improves to 24-5 and 8-2 in the SEC while the loss drops Tennessee to 19-11 and 2-8 in SEC.
The Gamecock offense pounded out 10 hits this afternoon including a 2-for-4 day by Jackie Bradley Jr. as well as three hits by Scott Wingo. That was enough to back a solid effort by Roth, who scattered just six hits while striking out four and just walking one. He is now 7-1 on the year for Carolina. Price worked 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout to pick up his eighth save of the year. Tennessee starting pitcher Rob Catapano worked 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout.
“We played real well tonight,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “We got another quality start from (Michael) Roth. Great defense all the way around, Marzilli goes into the game, makes a great defensive play and hits a home run.”
South Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. opened the frame with a single to left field and scored on Christian Walker’s RBI double down the left field line. Walker would eventually score on a RBI fielder’s choice courtesy of Brady Thomas. Carolina extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Evan Marzilli roped a 1-0 pitch from Catapano over the right field wall for his first home run of the season. Carolina scratched one more run across in the seventh inning. Bradley led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Adrian Morales.
Tennessee would bring the tying run into the on deck circle in the eighth with runners on second and third and two outs with Price on in relief for the Gamecocks. He would strike out Josh Liles looking to end the Tennessee threat.
Carolina was solid on defense the entire afternoon with several big plays both in the infield and outfield. The Gamecocks finished with three double plays on the afternoon including one to end the game on a line drive that was nabbed by first baseman Christian Walker. Roth picked off Zach Osborne in the fourth inning and Evan Marzilli made a diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Charley Thurber and doubled off Tyler Horne at second base for two outs in the fifth inning.
Zach Osborne was 4-for-4 to lead Tennessee at the plate. Tyler Horne was also 2-for-4 for the Volunteers.