Ex-St. James star English has big day at plate in USC win

Three South Carolina pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts and the second ranked Gamecocks held off a late Elon rally to earn a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon in front of 7,606 fans at Carolina Stadium.

Former St. James standout Tanner English led Carolina at the plate with a 2-for-4 day with a run scored. The two teams combined for 10 hits, all singles.

Junior right-hander Matt Price was effective in his second start of the year allowing just one hit in five scoreless innings and struck out eight batters, tying a career-high he set two years ago vs. Valparaiso. Price only walked one as well. He is 1-0 on the year.

Junior left-hander Tyler Webb followed up Price and was equally effective with 3.2 innings of work and just one hit allowed while also tying his career-high with seven strikeouts. Both runs that Webb allowed were unearned.

Sophomore right-hander Forrest Koumas retired the final out of the game with a strikeout to pick up his second save of the season. The three pitchers limited Elon to just three hits for the entire game.

Elon starting pitcher Dylan Clark suffered the loss and is 1-1 on the year. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits in six innings with three strikeouts and two walks.

South Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning. With runners at first and second base and one out, Christian Walker drove a RBI single into right field scoring Evan Marzilli to put the Gamecocks on the scoreboard.

Walker is 7-for-17 for the season with a team-high eight RBI including six in this weekend’s series vs. Elon. Grayson Greiner added a RBI fielder’s choice to score Tanner English giving the Gamecocks a two-run cushion.

Carolina added to the lead with a single run in the fifth inning. Adam Matthews reached base on a fielding error by Elon shortstop Garrett Koster followed by a pair of bunt singles by Marzilli and English. With the bases full, Walker grounded into a 4-6-3 double play allowing Matthews to score.

Elon had only two base runners through the first eight innings but threatened in the ninth inning and took advantage of a Gamecock error to put a runner on base. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Elon got on the scoreboard with a RBI single off the bat of Alex Swim that was followed by a RBI single from Garret Koster. With two runners still on base, Koumas preserved the Gamecock victory with a strikeout against Elon pinch hitter Connor Lewis.

South Carolina’s pitching staff totaled 16 strikeouts Saturday afternoon with only two putouts made by the outfield the entire game. The 16 strikeouts are the most by the Gamecocks on the mound since March 10, 2010, in a 7-3 victory over Valparaiso and were two short of the single-game school record.

Through the first five games, the Gamecock pitching staff owns a 1.00 ERA with 59 strikeouts to just nine walks in 45.0 innings and only seven runs allowed, five earned.

South Carolina is now 5-0 on the year with Elon dropping to 4-2 for the season. The series finale on Sunday is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.

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