COLUMBIA, S.C. – Dom Thompson-Williams went 3-for-4 with his first career homer as a Gamecock and John Jones tallied a bases-clearing double in his first career game with the Garnet and Black as 17th-ranked South Carolina opened the season with a 10-1 victory over Albany at Founders Park.
Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt earned the win after allowing just one run on three hits in six innings of work with six strikeouts and four walks. Albany starter Stephen Woods suffered the loss and allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings.
Jones and DC Arendas both drew walks to open the bottom of the second inning. After a sacrifice bunt from TJ Hopkins moved both runners into scoring position, Clark Scolamiero lifted a sac fly to left field to score Jones and give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead.
The lead extended to four runs in the bottom of the third. Thompson-Williams and Alex Destino singled to start the inning and Jonah Bride was hit by pitch to load the bases. Jones would clear the bases with a one-out double to center field.
Thompson-Williams homered for his third hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth to give the Gamecocks a 6-1 lead. Thompson-Williams drove a 2-2 pitch over the bullpen in right-center to put the Gamecocks up by five runs. After the Gamecocks loaded the bases with two outs, both Arendas and Hopkins walked to add a pair of runs.
The Gamecocks extended their lead to 9-1 as Bride drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field. Scolamiero would drive in a run in the sixth inning to make it 10-1.
John Jones’ double in the third inning gave the Gamecocks a four-run cushion.
Gamecock newcomers combined for seven of the 10 runs driven in for the opener.
South Carolina is now 85-39 on opening day in school history.
TJ Hopkins tied a single-game school record with two outfield assists.
Scolamiero tied a career-high with two RBI in today’s win.
Schmidt, Colton Provey, Tyler Johnson and Tyler Haswell combined for 11 strikeouts.
Opening day attendance was 7434.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“I’m pleased with the way we played on opening day. Our pitchers obviously threw the ball very well, we played great defense behind our guys and the guys were full of energy today. They were full of togetherness. They were anxious for this day and couldn’t wait for it to get here. I think they performed well. I am excited for them, but this is just one game. We’ll try to build on it and play well tomorrow.”
“I thought Clarke set the tone for us a little bit. He wasn’t as crisp as he has been in the scrimmages, but he still had good enough stuff and competed hard enough to get his share of outs. He’s been much more cleanly in the scrimmages from his command, but that’s not anything that I am worried about whatsoever. He got in a groove a little bit there in the third or fourth inning, and was throwing great. He got a little bit out of line, but he’ll be fine.”
“Other guys got in the game [Colton] Provey, [Tyler] Johnson and [Tyler] Haswell and they threw the ball well. This was just a great opening day win for us. Like I said, we have another one tomorrow, and we need to come to the park ready to play.”
Game two of the Albany series is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Founders Park. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”