Gamecocks blow out UNCA, get back on winning track

No. 2-ranked South Carolina raced out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and freshman right-hander Joel Seddon hurled five scoreless innings in his first career start as the Gamecocks defeated UNC Asheville 8-1 on Wednesday evening in non-conference baseball action. Carolina improves to 10-1 on the year while the loss drops the Bulldogs to 7-7 for the season.

Seddon limited the Bulldogs to just two hits in five shutout innings to earn his first career victory. He is now 1-0 on the year. He struck out three and walked two. UNC Asheville starter Dean Roland lasted only 3.2 innings and suffered the loss, dropping his record to 2-2 for the year. Roland allowed six runs on six hits with three walks and a strikeout.

Carolina broke out of the gates with four runs in the opening frame, batting around against Roland. Evan Marzilli led off with walk in a 10-pitch at bat and advanced to third on Tanner English’s base hit. Christian Walker would drive in Marzilli with a RBI single and LB Dantzler followed with a RBI single as well. Adam Matthews added a sacrifice fly that scored Walker and Connor Bright connected with a two-out RBI single scoring Dantzler and giving the Gamecocks a four-run cushion.

South Carolina increased the lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a pair of two-out RBI hits. Walker and Dantzler each drove in their second run of the game with RBI singles. Carolina added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. After loading the bases with one out, Bright had his second RBI of the night with a bases loaded walk that scored Dantzler.

UNC Asheville would get on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning. Walks to Casey Ebersole and Ian Graham set the stage for Billy Creighton, who knocked a RBI single into left field scoring Ebersole. Carolina responded in the bottom half with a single run as Marzilli legged out a double followed by a base hit by English and a RBI ground out from Walker.

Dantzler finished the day 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Walker had two hits and three RBI for the evening. English and Marzilli added two hits apiece as well.

Junior left-hander Adam Westmoreland made his first appearance of the year and hurled two scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen. Senior left-hander Logan Munson also had 1.1 scoreless innings of work with two strikeouts and a walk in his first appearance of the season.

South Carolina returns to action this weekend hosting a three-game series against Princeton. First pitch for the opener on Friday is 7 p.m. with Saturday’s game at 4 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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