COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sophomore infielder LT Tolbert went 2-for-4 with three RBI and freshman right-hander Cody Morris allowed just one run in five innings of work as sixth ranked South Carolina defeated Furman 6-1 on Tuesday night at Founders Park. Carolina in now 20-8 on the year, with the Paladins falling to 11-16.
Morris allowed just four hits in five innings of work to earn the win. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. He is now 2-0 on the year. Furman starter Hunter Baker allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work in the loss. He is now 1-1 for the season.
The Paladins struck early as they took a 1-0 lead in the first. Landon Kay led off with a single to center and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Carolina tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Chris Cullen led off the bottom of the second with a hit by pitch. He would score on a one-out RBI single off the bat of LT Tolbert.
Carlos Cortes gave the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out two-run double. Jacob Olson reached base on a one-out single and Justin Row was hit by a pitch with two outs to give the Gamecocks runners on the corners. That set the stage for Cortes, who launched a double to right-center scoring both and giving the Gamecocks a two-run cushion.
Three more runs in the fifth inning extended Carolina’s lead to 6-1. Matt Williams walked with one out, advanced to third on Cullen’s double to left-center and scored on Alex Destino’s RBI single to left field. A two-out two-run single from Tolbert to center field would score both Cullen and Destino.
Carlos Cortes’ two-out two-run double in the bottom of the fourth gave the Gamecocks a lead they would not relinquish.
Eight out of nine Gamecock starters recorded at least one hit to combine for 10 total hits.
• LT Tolbert extended his hitting streak to eight games. He went 2-for-4 and tied his career-high with three RBI. It was the third time he has reached the mark. He last had three RBI on April 8, 2016 vs. Tennessee.
• The Gamecocks recorded their 15th game of the season with 10 or more hits.
• Freshman right-hander Colby Lee allowed just one hit in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Freshman right-hander Sawyer Bridges pitched 0.2 scoreless innings to close out the game for the Gamecocks.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“I thought it was a good win for us coming off a tough loss on Sunday. We’re halfway through the season right here. We’ve won 20 games in a tough schedule, and maybe could have won a couple more that were in the balance, a pitch here or a pitch there. We’re in a good spot, we have a lot to play for, the goals that we set forth, and where we are in the league we have everything in front of us. Our players have put us in a pretty good position for the next 28. Obviously we have some big time opponents on the schedule going forward, but it will be a lot of fun. As we continue to get better, I feel good about where we are. We’ve won 13 of our last 16 and have a good chemistry going. We certainly need that as we go into the meat of our schedule.”
The Gamecocks are back in action on Thursday, April 6 for the first game in a three-game series with Vanderbilt. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.