Evan Beal did a heck of a job filling the role of Friday night ace. Beal, filling in for injured starter Jordan Montgomery, was almost flawless in six scoreless innings on the mound in a 2-0 USC win over Rider Friday night at Carolina Stadium.
Beal (1-0) allowed just one hit and struck out a career high six batters during his outing. At one point he retired 14 straight. He was rolling along until he walked the first two hitters in seventh and was pulled. Those were the only two walks he issued.
Forrest Koumas came in for Beal and managed to get a double-play ball to help get the Gamecocks out of the jam. Tyler Webb got the final five outs of the game to grab his fourth save of the season.
The Gamecocks didn’t get a lot offensively off Rider lefty Tyler Smith. They scratched an unearned run in the third and pushed across an insurance run in the sixth on Joey Pankake’s RBI single. Graham Saiko had two of the Gamecocks seven hits. He also stole a base and scored the unearned run. Chase Vergason also had two hits.
Press conference sound:
- Evan Beal has pitched 9 2/3 innings this season and hasn’t allowed a run. He has stuck out 11 and walked two.
- Chad Holbrook didn’t tell Beal he would start until Thursday. He said it was a tough call on who he wanted to start between Beal and Forrest Koumas. He went with Beal because he wasn’t sure Koumas was ready to pitching extended innings coming off last year’s injury.
- Holbrook said he will decide early next week if he will keep Beal in the weekend rotation or move him back to the bullpen. He noted the importance of Beal coming out of the pen. Jack Wyncoop is the other possibility.
- Tanner English didn’t play because of a shoulder injury. TJ Costen started in center field in his place. He committed an error and struck out three times. Holbrook said could look at Shon Carson in that role since Costen is struggling.
- Rider used just one pitcher. Tyley Smith scattered seven hits and struck out eight in his eight innings. He gave up two runs, but only one was earned.