USC secured a three game sweep over Rider with a 1-0 win Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. Nolan Belcher pitched seven scoreless innings to grab his third win of the season, and Tyler Webb closed out the final two frames to earn his second save of the series and fifth of the season.
The win moves caps a 5-0 week for the Gamecocks and runs their record to 13-2 this season.
USC’s lone run came off a Joey Pankake solo homer in the fourth inning. Pankake has been in the zone this week; he’s homered four times in the past five games. His blast over the left field wall Sunday was one of only five Gamecock hits. Connor Bright’s double was the only other extra base hit.
Meanwhile, Rider had 11 hits and threatened in each of the final three innings, but they couldn’t scratch a single run. They left the bases loaded in the 9th inning and stranded 12 base runners during the game.
Belcher scattered eight hits in his seven innings on the mound and he didn’t walk a batter. He struck out seven. Webb allowed three hits in his two innings of relief, walking one and striking out one.
- Leadoff hitter Graham Saiko stole his seventh base of the season.
- Shon Carson made his second straight start in center field and finished 1-3. He was caught stealing.
- Chad Holbrook said outfielder Tanner English is doubtful for the two midweek games next week and still very questionable for the weekend series at Missouri. English injured his shoulder against Ball State earlier this week.
- Holbrook was very complimentary of Rider. He expects them to be in the NCAA Tournament and cited one publication that called the Broncos the Stony Brook of this season.
- The Gamecocks have another home game Tuesday against Upstate. Wednesday they play host to Davidson before opening the SEC slate at Missouri Friday.