Gamecocks Win 20th, Down Furman

USC Athletics

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.

GAME CHANGER
Carlos Cortes’ two-out two-run double in the bottom of the fourth gave the Gamecocks a lead they would not relinquish.

KEY STAT
Eight out of nine Gamecock starters recorded at least one hit to combine for 10 total hits.

NOTABLES
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.

QUOTABLE
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.”

UP NEXT
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.

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