Holding onto a slim one-run lead, Gamecocks exploded for seven runs on eight hits in the fifth inning to cruise to a 10-2 win over Tennessee and their first sweep of the season.
Tennessee (12-3) dropped its SEC opener to No. 12 SC (12-5) on Friday night, 7-1. Tennessee drops to 12-5 and 0-3 in league play. The Gamecocks sent 12 batters to the plate as they scratch across seven runs on eight hits. Chris Cullen, Jacob Olson, TJ Hopkins, Jonah Bride, Alex Destino and Madison Stokes all hit balls out of the park off Tennessee pitchers. Stokes would also start the scoring in the second inning with a two-run homer to left field. Tennessee tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI single by Moberg. His towering three-run homer over the left field fence broke the tie and give SC a 4-1 lead.
Gamecock freshman right-hander Colby Lee earned his first career win in relief. The senior pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs, six hits, one walk and striking out seven.
Sunday's win is the Gamecocks first this year to close out the week, going 0-3 beforehand. Tennessee reliever Zach Linginfelter suffered the loss and is 0-1 for the season. Garrett Stallings replaced Neely and gave up four runs on five hits and only recorded two outs.
He was relieved with two outs in the third by Sawyer Bridges, who would give up just one run in 1.2 innings.
With some key arms out SC needed its offense to step up and provide run support and it did. Moberg's single to left field brought home Max Bartlett to knot things at 3-all.
Cody Morris started the game for SC, going 3.2 innings and giving up just one run on three hits.
The final run of the game came in the top of the eighth inning, when Destino belted a solo shot with one out.
- SC has homered in six straight games with 11 homers in that span. Both Stokes and Destino both homered and doubled as well.
- Freshman right-hander Cody Morris made his first start in SEC play and the second start of his career. He was 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored.
Game two of the three-game series is set for tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.
Martin set down the Gamecocks in order during four separate innings and worked himself out of multiple jams to keep the game close. Chad Holbrook's Gamecocks will host Charleston Southern on Wednesday and then play a weekend series at home against Alabama. All of this, along with getting a sweep in the opening weekend of conference play will also hopefully provide some confidence for this team. We've played pretty good.
"We've got some guys with some athletic ability and explosiveness and bat speed and we got into some balls this weekend", Holbrook said.
And it wasn't just one player carrying the load. "I don't think we've done that up to this point in three consecutive games", Holbrook said.
"I'd be lying if I didn't tell you it was a tad little bit more special for me knowing that the guys had to rally around each other and they didn't bat an eye who was out and who couldn't play and who wasn't on the trip", SC coach Chad Holbrook said. "We're not going to be satisfied with the runs and hits this weekend; we're going to continue to improve and get ready for the next game".