South Carolina freshmen lead charge in win over The Citadel

Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed just one run in 5.2 innings of work to earn his first career win as 10th ranked South Carolina bounced back with a 7-3 win over The Citadel on Tuesday evening in front of 4,417 fans at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston. South Carolina is now 18-7 while The Citadel drops to 9-15 for the season.

The Gamecocks raced out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed. Carolina’s nine-hit evening included two hits from Evan Marzilli and freshmen Joey Pankake and Tanner English, a St. James High product. Marzilli and English each scored two runs as well with Pankake driving in a pair of runs. Nick Orvin was 2-for-4 to lead The Citadel.

Montgomery allowed one run on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He is 1-0 on the year. Bulldogs starter Brett Tompkins went three innings and allowed three runs on six hits. He is 0-1 for the season.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Evan Marzilli led off the game with a bunt for a base hit. He has now reached base in all 25 games this year. He would score on Joey Pankake’s double into the gap in right-center.

That lead increased to 3-0 in the third inning. Tanner English reached with one out on an infield single and a perfectly executed hit and run with Marzilli gave the Gamecocks runners on the corners. Pankake’s infield single would score English and Brison Celek’s two-out RBI double down the left field line plated home Marzilli.

The Citadel scored a single run in the bottom of the fourth. Montgomery had retired the first nine batters he faced until Nick Orvin led off with a base hit. With one out, Justin Mackert roped a double over the head of English in left field scoring Orvin and cutting Carolina’s lead to 3-1.

South Carolina’s lead extended to 7-1 in the top of the fifth inning. English led off with a walk. With one out and English on second base, the Gamecocks would again put runners on the corners as Joey Pankake reached first base on a throwing error by Bulldogs third baseman Zach Sherrill.

Walker would drive in English with a RBI single to left field. With the bases loaded and one out, LB Dantzler tallied a RBI groundout. Erik Payne’s team-leading second triple of the season was roped to the gap in left-center and scored both Walker and Celek giving the Gamecocks a six-run cushion.

James Griffin made it 7-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pinch-hit solo homer, his third home run of the season for the Bulldogs. The Citadel added one more run in the ninth inning as Joe Jackson led off with a single and scored on Bo Thompson’s RBI double into right field.

South Carolina is back in action this weekend with a three-game series at Vanderbilt. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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