Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt struck out a career-high 12 batters in 7.1 innings of work and Madison Stokes belted a two-run homer as seventh ranked South Carolina defeated Michigan State 3-2 in the series opener on Friday night at Founders Park.
The Gamecocks improved to 10-5 on the year, while the Spartans dropped to 9-3 overall.
Schmidt improved to 3-0 on the season. He allowed two runs on eight hits and did not walk a batter.
Senior right-hander Colie Bowers recorded his first save of the year after allowing only one hit with two strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Michigan State left-hander Alex Troop suffered the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in eight innings of work. He is 2-1 on the year.
Stokes' home run came in the fifth inning with USC trailing 1-0. The Gamecocks did not have a hit entering the fifth, but got to Troop with a pair in the bottom of the frame. After Jonah Bride reached second on an error by right fielder Dan Chmielewski to lead off the inning, South Carolina went ahead 2-1 as Stokes launched a two-run homer over the left field fence. It was the second home run of the season for the former A.C. Flora standout.
Game two of the series is set for 4:00 p.m. at Founders Park.