South Carolina Baseball: Gamecocks handle business against Longwood, bats come alive in sweep

South Carolina baseball finally saw their bats have a bit of life in their 3-game series sweep of the Longwood Lancers.

South Carolina baseball right fielder Ethan Petry
South Carolina baseball right fielder Ethan Petry / Cyndi Chambers / USA TODAY NETWORK

South Carolina baseball fans have been extremely frustrated this season.

With a pitching staff full of question marks and an offense that was believed to be one of the best in college baseball, the Gamecocks have seen their success flipped for much of the season. The Carolina bats have not lived up to their preseason expectations, while the USC pitching staff has been better than many believed they would be.

The tipping point for many fans came in the rivalry series against Clemson. In two losses (the series' first game was rained out), Mark Kingston's team went a dreadful 4-37 with runners on base, and they lost both games by just one run.

The mid-week after the Clemson game wasn't much better as the offense was less-than-stellar in victories over The Citadel and Davidson.

The offense bounced back in a 3-game sweep of the Longwood Lancers, however, and South Carolina baseball fans hope their favorite team can build off of that momentum.

In game 1, behind a strong effort from Eli Jones on the mound (6 innings of scoreless ball), the Carolina offense scored 10 runs and run-ruled Longwood 10-0 in 8 innings. Dylan Brewer was the team's top performer, smacking two home runs and making a nice defensive play in center. Ethan Petry and Cole Messina also added dingers to their season stat lines. Parker Marlatt pitched 2 innings of no-hit ball to end the game.

Saturday's game was similar as the Gamecocks won 10-2. Dylan Eskew was good, giving up just one run in 5 innings. Roman Kimball didn't have his best stuff, but the duo of Chris Veach and Garrett Gainey finished off the game without further damage. Gavin Casas may have broken out of his funk by getting on base four times. Ethan Petry also reached three times, and Cole Messina belted 2 home runs.

The series finale didn't start great for the Gamecocks as they had given up 6 runs through 4 innings. A 3-run 5th inning and an 11-run 6th removed any doubt about who would win, though, as the final count stood 22-6. Remarkably, Tyler Causey and Gavin Casas hit the only home runs of the game for Mark Kingston's club, but Talmadge LeCroy, Ethan Petry, Cole Messina, Kennedy Jones, Parker Noland, and Will Tippett joined Causey in reaching base at least 3 times. Errors hurt the pitching cause as 5 of 6 allowed runs were unearned.

Kingston and company hope the offensive success from the weekend will carry over into next week. South Carolina baseball plays Georgia State in Augusta in the mid-week before SEC play begins on the road against Ole Miss.

The Georgia State game will be on Tuesday at 7:00 at SRP Park. It will be shown on SEC Network+. The Ole Miss series will be played in Oxford and will run from Friday to Sunday. The opener will be at 7:30 PM EST on SEC Network+, game 2 is at 2:00 PM EST on SEC Network, and the finale will begin at 2:00 PM EST on SEC Network+.




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