COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Fifth-ranked South Carolina pounded out 12 hits and six pitchers combined for a seven hit shutout as the Gamecocks defeated Eastern Kentucky 6-0, sweeping the series on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.
The Gamecocks have now held opponents scoreless for 51 consecutive innings and recorded their fifth consecutive shutout, which is a program record. South Carolina improves to 7-0 on the year while the loss drops Eastern Kentucky to 1-6.
Junior outfielder Connor Bright went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Bright has now safely hit in all seven games this season. Junior infielder Joey Pankake went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe improves to 2-0 on the year after hurling 6.1 scoreless innings. Crowe allowed just four hits, one walk and struck out five batters. Five Gamecock relievers combined for 3.2 scoreless innings allowing a combined three hits and one walk while striking out five batters. Eastern Kentucky starter Myles Scott suffers the loss and is now 0-2 on the year. Scott gave up four runs all earned on six hits and two walks while striking out two batters.
The Gamecock bats came alive in the bottom of the third as Joey Pankake sparked a four-run inning with a one-out single. Kyle Martin followed Pankake with single of his own and put runners on the corners for Bright, who hit one through the left side and allowed Pankake to score. Grayson Greiner would bring home Martin with a single up the middle and DC Arendas drove in the final two runs as he knocked a 2-1 pitch to right field for a base hit.
South Carolina added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Pankake reached on a throwing error by the Eastern Kentucky shortstop and scored on Bright's RBI single to left field.
In the bottom of the eighth the Gamecocks tacked on another run to take a 6-0 lead over the Colonels. Marcus Mooney led off with a double and advanced to third on a throwing error by Eastern Kentucky left fielder Shea Sullivan. He then scored on Pankake's sacrifice fly to right field.
South Carolina returns to action this weekend with a three game-series against Clemson. First pitch for the opener at Carolina Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports South. Saturday's Reedy River Rivalry Game from Fluor Field in Greenville will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday's series finale at Clemson will have a 4 p.m. first pitch. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game."
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