COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three South Carolina pitchers combined on a shutout to hand Charleston Southern a 2-0 loss in the series finale at Founders Park on Sunday afternoon.
CSU (8-8) put pressure on the Gamecocks late with singles from Chris Singleton and Mason McClellan in the ninth putting go-ahead run on, but USC closer Josh Reagan (S, 6) got Kevin Hickey and Brandon Gragilla to fly out to end the game and give USC the sweep.
CSU had its chances in the final two games of the series with the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth in both, but couldn't get out of Columbia with a win. It left the Bucs with a frustrating taste in their mouth, but CSU head coach Stuart Lake knows there were a lot of positives.
"Sometimes winning makes you think you're better than you are and losing makes you think you're worse than you are," Lake said Sunday. "We did some things well this weekend against a very good team. I thought our starting pitching was really good. I wish we had been better on Friday night, but we did some good things and need to focus on getting better as we head into conference play."
CSU starter Jon Piriz (L, 0-2) pitched well, working into the sixth surrendering only the two runs. He surrendered five hits, struck out two, and walked three. Alex Ministeri struck out one and worked 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
USC starter Adam Hill (W, 4-0) held the Bucs down with eight strike outs to get his fourth win in as many starts. He gave up four hits and walked one.
Carolina only scratched in one inning, but as he has all weekend, it was Dom Thompson-Williams doing the damage for the Gamecocks. He doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Hopkins. Matt Williams followed with a solo home run to right as USC took a 2-0 lead after four.
The Bucs also threatened in the sixth on singles by Cole German, Sly Edwards and Singleton, but reliever Tyler Johnson would get Mason McClellan to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the Bucs scoreless.
Singleton led the Bucs, going 3-for-4. CSU outhit South Carolina, 7-6.
CSU returns to action on Wednesday against College of Charleston at Patriots Point. First pitch is at 6 p.m.