Story by Matt Smith
North Augusta, SC
Charleston Southern’s pitchers found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time as South Carolina’s slumping offense broke out in a 10-3 victory Tuesday night in North Augusta, SC. Noah Campbell led off the bottom of the first with his fifth home run and Brady Allen tripled in his first two at-bats, sparking the Gamecocks to a 10-0 lead after three innings.
South Carolina (24-17, 5-13) had been starved for three games against Texas A&M’s staff, one of the nation’s best, and was looking to feast early against the Buccaneers. Jacob Olson followed Campbell’s big fly with an RBI single, staking starter Daniel Lloyd to a 2-0 lead. The 2nd inning was more of the same, highlighted by Luke Berryhill’s two-run homer and Allen’s RBI triple. Allen would triple again the following inning and come around to score on Josiah Sightler’s triple, his first career hit.
The Gamecocks were equally aggressive on the base paths, stealing four bases in five attempts. TJ Hopkins swiped a pair of bases, giving the center fielder a team-leading 14 steals on the season.
A handful of struggling Gamecocks helped themselves statistically in the blowout. Perhaps most notably, Campbell’s 3 for 5 box score raised his average from .224 to .237. After the game, Campbell said he’d made some adjustments and was “letting his hands do the work.” Similarly, Lloyd lowered his ERA from 8.38 to 7.43 after surrendering just one earned run in 3 2/3 innings. Sawyer Bridges, battling injury throughout the season, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Charleston Southern (16-28) is back in Big South play this weekend at Campbell. South Carolina, still seeking its first SEC series win, opens a three-game set at Missouri starting Friday night at 7:30.