USC slammed three home runs as part of a 14 hit attack in defeating The College of Charleston 10-6 Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. The victory snaps a three game losing streak and improves the Gamecocks’ record to 28-10. Charleston falls to 20-16.
Connor Bright blasted a two run homer to left, part of a four run second inning, as the Gamecocks built an early 5-0 lead. Joey Pankake later had a two run homer and Graham Saiko a solo shot.
The Cougars fought back from the early deficit with a four spot in the third off Gamecock starter Forrest Koumas. Gunner Heidt, Brendon Murray, Ben Boykin and Cody Martin had the RBIs for the Cougars.
USC answered in the bottom of the inning with a RBI double by Bright and a RBI single by Saiko to make it a 7-4 game. Pankake’s two run shot in the sixth, his 7th homer of the season, made it 9-5. Saiko plated the Gamecocks’ final run with his first career homer in the 8th. The Cougars closed out the scoring with a run in the 9th off Colby Holmes.
Vince Fiori earned his first career win with 2.1 innings of relief allowing two hits and one run. Patrick Sullivan and Adam Westmoreland also pitched for USC. Charleston starter Player Loving, a former AC Flora standout, took the loss to fall to 1-2.
Saiko had four hits on the night and Pankake three. Pankake and Bright each had three RBIs.
The Gamecocks host Kentucky for an SEC series this weekend. USC coach Chad Holbrook said closer Tyler Webb could pitch this weekend after sitting out last weekend at Florida with pain in his arm. He said another MRI Tuesday was clean and it’s just a matter of managing the discomfort. Holbrook added that shortstop Joey Pankake is also a pitching candidate after having a “great” bullpen session Sunday according to Holbrook.