Gamecocks shut out Rider to complete series sweep


Senior left-hander Nolan Belcher and senior left-hander Tyler Webb combined for sixth ranked South Carolina’s second shutout in the last three games and Joey Pankake homered for the fourth time in the last five games as the Gamecocks defeated Rider 1-0 to sweep a three-game series at Carolina Stadium.

Belcher followed up an outstanding performance last week vs. Clemson with another gritty job on the mound as he went seven-plus innings and allowed no runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Belcher has not allowed a run in 18 consecutive innings of work. He is now 3-1 on the year. Webb continued his success out of the bullpen to earn his fifth save of the season. He went two innings and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out one batter. Rider starting pitcher Mike Murphy took the loss and is 1-2 for the season. He went 7.2 innings and allowed one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Gamecock defense proved stellar the entire afternoon. Second baseman Max Schrock came up big with four strong assists to both sides on well placed grounders. In the second inning both Schrock and Pankake kept singles from going into the outfield to keep Rider from scoring. Belcher would come up with a strikeout of Ian Lindsay with the bases loaded to keep the game in check.

Pankake followed up his defense with success at the plate as he crushed a 1-1 pitch from Murphy to left-center for his fourth home run of the season to give Carolina a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

South Carolina is now 13-2 on the year with Rider 6-4 for the season. South Carolina is back in action on Tuesday night hosting USC Upstate. First pitch at Carolina Stadium is set for 7 p.m.

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