Charleston, S.C. – No. 10 South Carolina jumped out to a 3-1 lead and used four unearned runs in the fifth inning to pull away for a 7-3 victory over The Citadel in non-conference action Tuesday evening at Riley Park. The Bulldogs fall to 9-15 overall and return to Southern Conference action this weekend as they host Wofford beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
The Gamecocks (18-7) opened a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed the rest of the way. Evan Marzilli led off the game with a bunt for a base hit and scored on Joey Pankake's double into the gap in right-center.
South Carolina's lead increased to 3-0 in the third inning. Tanner English reached with one out on an infield single and a hit and run with Marzilli put runners on the corners. Pankake's infield single plated English and Brison Celek's two-out RBI double down the left-field line scored Marzilli.
The Bulldogs scored a single run in the bottom of the fourth to break onto the scoreboard. Gamecock starter Jordan Montgomery had retired the first nine batters until Nick Orvin led off the frame with a base hit. With one out, Justin Mackert laced a RBI double over the head of English in left, plating Orvin and cutting Carolina's lead to 3-1.
South Carolina's lead extended to 7-1 in the top of the fifth inning. English led off the frame with a walk. With one out and English on second, the Gamecocks would again put runners on the corners as Pankake reached first base on a throwing error by third baseman Zach Sherrill. Christian Walker drove in English with a RBI single to left for a 4-1 lead. With the bases loaded and one out, LB Dantzler lined a RBI groundout to third. Erik Payne's second triple of the season was knocked to the gap in left-center and scored both Walker and Celek giving the Gamecocks the six-run cushion.
Tyler Griffin made it 7-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pinch-hit solo homer, his third round-tripper of the season for the Bulldogs. The Citadel added one more run in the ninth inning as Joe Jackson led off with a single and scored on Bo Thompson's RBI double into right.
Montgomery picked up his first win of the season for the Gamecocks, scattering three hits and allowing one run in 5-2/3 innings with four strikeouts.
Citadel starter Brett Tompkins suffered his first loss, falling to 0-1 on the season. The freshman gave up three runs on six hits in three innings with one strikeout. Orvin's two hits led the Bulldogs.
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