Gamecocks, Pankake flatten PC to remain undefeated

Joey Pankake hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and four Gamecock pitchers combined to allow just one run on five hits as second ranked South Carolina defeated Presbyterian 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference baseball action at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina is now 7-0 on the year while the loss drops Presbyterian to 0-8 for the season.

Junior left-hander Nolan Belcher earned his first win since May 11, 2010 with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. After junior right-hander Ethan Carter hurled 2.1 scoreless innings it would be junior left-hander Tyler Webb that would close the game out as he retired the final batter of the game on a fly out to earn his first save of the season. Presbyterian starter Beau Dees had a quality outing despite the loss. He is now 0-1 on the year. Dees went 7.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

Presbyterian broke ahead first with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Gabe Grammer led off with a base hit and Andrew Williams was hit by a pitch to open the frame. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Tony Micklon blooped a single into right field scoring Grammer. Montgomery escaped further damage though as he induced Kenny Bryant into a 4-6-3 double play to keep PC from putting multiple runs across the plate.

Carolina tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning as TJ Costen led off with a triple to the gap in right-center and scored on Evan Marzilli’s RBI ground out. Pankake then delivered for the Gamecocks in the bottom of the fourth as he belted a 2-1 pitch from Dees over the left-centerfield wall. The homer was Pankake’s first of the season and also his first career RBI in a Gamecock uniform.

Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery made his first career start and he was effective with four quality innings allowing one run on four hits with a strikeout and no walks allowed.

The Gamecocks will be back in action this weekend as college baseball’s premier rivalry takes center stage. South Carolina and Clemson will meet in a three-game series beginning on Friday night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday’s contest is in Columbia at Carolina Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday’s series finale at Doug Kingmore Stadium in Clemson will begin at 2 p.m.

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