COLUMBIA, SC (USC). – A four-run fifth inning helped lift eighth-ranked South Carolina to a 6-1 win over USC Upstate on Wednesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 32-10 on the year while the loss drops the Spartans to 14-30.
Kyle Martin went 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Joey Pankake went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Martin tied a career-high in hits as did Gene Cone, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. The top four hitters in the Gamecock lineup recorded all 11 hits in the contest for Carolina.
South Carolina mounted some offense in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs and claiming the lead. After a pair of walks to Tanner English and Marcus Mooney, the Gamecocks attempted a double steal but English was thrown out at third base. With a runner still in scoring position, Gene Cone singled to center field and drove in Mooney to tie the game at 1-1. Back-to-back singles off the bats of Joey Pankake and Kyle Martin then loaded the bases and a walk to Grayson Greiner brought home another run for the Garnet and Black.
With two outs and the bases still load a popup off the bat of Patrick Harrington was dropped by Upstate third baseman Brian Thompson allowing two more runs to score and give the Gamecocks a 4-1 lead.
The Gamecocks pushed across two more runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-1 lead. A pair of 1-out singles from Cone and Pankake put two runners on for Kyle Martin who ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Cone. Harrington then reached base on a fielding error that allowed Pankake to come home.
Gamecocks are back in conference play this weekend as Alabama comes to town beginning Friday evening.