The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Early offensive outburst, solid pitching set tone for No. 14 South Carolina against Gardner-Webb

Coming off a weekend in which the South Carolina offense scored 21 runs against a talented Florida pitching staff, the bats continued to roll in a 9-4 win over Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night. 

It did not take long for the team to make an impact offensively, scoring four runs in the first inning. In doing so, the team was able to knock junior right-hander Noah Davis out of the game before he could record an out. 

Junior left fielder Josiah Sightler opened the scoring with an RBI double, followed by a three-run home run off the bat of junior catcher Wes Clarke. For Clarke, this was his NCAA-leading 14th long ball of the season.

Five players had multi-hit games on the night, totaling 13 hits against the Runnin' Bulldogs. 

After being used as an arm out of the bullpen, freshman right-hander Jack Mahoney made his first-career start and delivered, pitching four innings of one-run baseball while allowing five hits and striking out six batters.

"I guess it's two different mindsets you could say. Obviously as a starter, you want to maybe conserve pitches a little bit, you know, throw less pitches so you can kind of hold off on the bullpen throughout the whole game," Mahoney said. "Tonight, I wouldn't say it was a completely different mindset. I just knew I had more time to work with and I could kind of control the pace of the game as I wanted to."

Head coach Mark Kingston mentioned that Mahoney will "be available for the weekend" after throwing 53 pitches. 

Following Mahoney's departure from the contest, the bullpen picked up where he left off, combining to pitch five innings, allowing three runs with two earned on four hits, with seven strikeouts.

After getting off to a tough start at the plate, fifth-year shortstop George Callil has played better as of late as he hit his first home run of the season. In two of his last three games, he has driven in a run and picked up an extra base hit in his last game. 

"It's no secret that I've been struggling a bit. And my main priority at the moment has just been trying to have good at-bats and getting my good swing off," Callil said. "I got myself in a count, where I had that opportunity, connected pretty well. And it was a relief to see that ball go over 'cause I thought I had one pretty good on Sunday too, but that didn't quite make it out."

To follow up a weekend in which he hit two home runs, junior outfielder Brady Allen put together another solid performance as he drove in two runs and hit a two-run homer in the seventh. 

What's next?

The Gamecocks will hit the road and begin a weekend series with the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday evening at Foley Field. 

Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Farr (2-1, 2.94 ERA) will start on the mound. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and can be streamed on SEC Network+. 


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