COLLEGE BASEBALL ROUNDUP

USCS sweeps DH from Monroe Community College

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The University of South Carolina Sumter baseball team swept a doubleheader from Monroe Community College on Thursday at Riley Park, winning the first game 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh before taking the second 12-5.

In the opening game with the Fire Ants trailing by a run, Grayson Cottingham led off with a double and was driven home by Patrick Price’s double to tie the score. After two walks, one intentional, Price scored on a wild pitch to give USCS the victory.

Cottingham had two hits in the opening game as did Leniel Gonzalez. Blake Robinson picked up the win in relief after tossing two scoreless innings.

In the second game, the Fire Ants scored six runs in the first inning and four more in the sixth en route to the victory. Lindsey Robinson picked up the win on the mound after tossing the first five innings. Harrison Merck pitched the final two innings and gave up just one unearned run.

Brice Kirven was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored to lead USCS at the plate.

The Fire Ants are now 14-10 overall and will return to action on March 22 at Anderson University with a doubleheader.

South Carolina 7

Tennessee 1

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jacob Olson broke a 1-1 tie with a 3-run homer in the top of the seventh inning and seventh-ranked South Carolina added three more runs in the eighth inning as the Gamecocks defeated 24th-ranked Tennessee 7-1 in their Southeastern Conference opener on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. 

The Gamecocks are now 12-5 and 1-0 in league play with the Volunteers 12-3 and 0-1 in the SEC.

Sophomore right-hander Adam Hill (1-2) allowed just one run on six hits in six innings of work with five strikeouts and three walks. Senior right-hander Reed Scott pitched three scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts for his second save of the year. 

Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the third inning. Olson led off with a single followed by a double off the bat of LT Tolbert. TJ Hopkins drove in Olson with a RBI single up the middle.

Tennessee tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jordan Rodgers led off the frame with a double and scored on Andre Lipcius’ 1-out RBI single up the middle.

Carolina responded though in the seventh on Olson’s homer to take a 4-1 lead. A 1-out double by Bride in the seventh inning followed by a base hit from Madison Stokes gave the Gamecocks runners on the corners and the stage for Olson. On the first pitch he saw from Tennessee reliever Garrett Stallings, Olson launched his fourth homer of the year over the left field wall to give Carolina a 3-run cushion.

That lead extended to 7-1 in the eighth inning as Cullen belted his fourth homer of the year with Stokes adding a RBI double and Tolbert driving in a run with a single.

Virginia 2

Clemson 0

CLEMSON -- Pavin Smith’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning lifted No. 11 Virginia to a 2-0 victory over No. 9 Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday.

The Cavaliers improved to 15-3 overall and 2-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers, who saw their eight-game winning streak end, fell to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in ACC play.

Virginia did not advance a runner past first base until the seventh inning when Smith blasted a 3-1 pitch over the fence in right field for his fifth long ball of the year. It ended former Sumter High and Sumter P-15’s standout Charlie Barnes’ streak of 27 2/3 innings pitched in a row without allowing an earned run. The Tigers put runners at the corners with one out in the eighth inning, but Alec Bettinger left the bases loaded without allowing a run. Virginia added an insurance run in the ninth inning on Cameron Simmons’ double that plated Smith.

Daniel Lynch (4-1) earned the win, as he gave up just four hits, no runs and two walks with four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings pitched.

Barnes (1-2) suffered the loss despite surrendering just six hits, two runs and one walk with seven strikeouts in a career-long 8 1/3 innings pitched.

Citadel 5

Dartmouth 4

CHARLESTON – In a nail-biting finish, The Citadel baseball team closed out a 5-4 victory over Dartmouth on Friday evening at Joe Riley Park.

With the tying run on second base, Jonathan Sabo induced a fly out before striking out the final batter to close out his second save of the season. He struck out three batters over the final four outs of the game.

Sabo's save came on the heels of another standout performance from starting pitcher and former Wilson Hall standout JP Sears (3-1). The junior recorded his fourth straight start with seven or more innings pitched and less than two runs allowed. Sears threw a season-high 127 pitches, striking out four batters in the victory.

The Bulldogs (5-11) opened the ball game with a big first inning which included four hits in the first four batters. Clay Martin sparked the offense with a lead-off triple and was brought home quickly on Taylor Cothran's RBI double down the left-field line. Sabo followed with an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with no outs. After Ben Peden's first hit of the game, William Kinney drove home Sabo with an RBI groundout to extend The Citadel's lead to 3-0.

The Citadel added a run in the fourth after Peden's second single of the game scored Cothran. The sophomore first baseman led the offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. In the seventh inning, Joe Sabatini crushed his second home run of the year despite the wind blowing in from center field. The graduate transfer's solo home run gave the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead, but proved to be the eventual winning run in the 5-4 victory.