COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina scored five unearned runs and starter Clarke Schmidt worked 7 1/3 scoreless innings as the Gamecocks handed Charleston Southern a 9-0 loss in the series opener on Friday night at Founders Park.
South Carolina improves to 13-2, while CSU falls to 8-6 on the season.
The Buccaneers committed five errors, four behind starter Evan Raynor (L, 3-1) who took his first loss of the season. USC's Dom Thompson-Williams hit a two-run home run in the fifth to power the Gamecock offense. He finished 2-for-4 with four RBI.
South Carolina jumped on the Bucs early, taking full advantage of three CSU errors. Left fielder Cole German dropped a fly ball and would-be third out in the second as USC pushed across a pair of earn runs on Raynor. A throwing error by Nate Blanchard added another run to push the lead to 2-0 after two innings.
Raynor (L, 3-1) gave up five runs, but only one earned in XXX innings of work. USC added three runs in the third to push the lead to 5-0. CSU second baseman Ryan Maksim fired wide of the bag at second on a double-play ball to open the floodgates for the Gamecocks. Thompson-Williams made the Bucs pay with a two-run double into the right field corner for the big blow.
CSU put runners on the corners throughout the night, but could never get the big hit to get the offense started. Blanchard appeared to reach with bunt single in the sixth, but was punched out at first wiping away a chance for the Bucs to put two on with no outs.
The two teams play again on Saturday at Founders Park. First pitch is at 4 p.m. The game will be carried on the SEC Network+.