Joey Pankake's two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh sparked a six-run inning as 12th ranked South Carolina rallied for a 9-3 win over Wofford on Wednesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 34-14 on the year with Wofford dropping to 20-21 for the season.
Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, Chase Vergason jumpstarted the Carolina rally with a one-out base hit. That set the stage for Pankake, who launched a 2-2 pitch from Wofford reliever Will Stillman over the right field wall for his 10th home run of the season and giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead. The momentum continued as Kyle Martin drew a walk, stole second and scored on Grayson Greiner's double to center field. Consecutive wild pitches by Wofford reliever Connell Anderson allowed Greiner to score increasing the lead to three runs. After singles by Brison Celek and Sean Sullivan, the lead extended to 8-3 on a two-out two-run single by Tanner English. Carolina added a run in the ninth inning on a RBI base hit courtesy of Chase Vergason.
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland earned the win in relief after 1.2 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and a pair of strikeouts. He is 6-1 on the year. Stillman suffered the loss and is now 2-2 for the season. He allowed two runs on three hits in an inning of work.
Wofford broke ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Alec Paradowski, Josh Hyman and Seth Neely strung together three straight hits including a RBI single by Neely to right field. Hyman would score Wofford's second run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of James Plaisted to right-center.
Carolina cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on a leadoff solo home run by Max Schrock. The freshman second baseman knocked a 3-1 pitch from Milburn over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the year. Schrock led off for Carolina for the first time since March 16 at Missouri.
South Carolina starting pitcher Curt Britt worked three innings and allowed two runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Wofford starter Matthew Milburn worked four innings and allowed a run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
An unearned run gave Wofford a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Paradowski led off with a base hit, his third single of the game. With one out, Seth Neely knocked a base hit up the middle that nicked South Carolina reliever Colby Holmes. With Neely charging down first base after the line drive, Holmes rushed a throw over to first and it went past first baseman LB Dantzler allowing Paradowski to score.
South Carolina answered again with a single run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to one run. LB Dantzler walked with one out followed by a double by Grayson Greiner to left field. On the play, Dantzler tripped running in between second and third base an injured his left shoulder. He would have to leave the game. Graham Saiko would be hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two outs and the bags still full, Sean Sullivan was hit by a pitch scoring pinch runner Shon Carson.
South Carolina finished with a 12-8 advantage in hits on Wednesday night. Vergason went 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Schrock, Greiner and Sullivan had two hits apiece also. Paradowski went 3-for-4 and Seth Neely tallied two hits to lead the Terriers at the plate.
South Carolina is back in action on Friday night beginning a three-game series vs. Georgia at Carolina Stadium. First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. with the game televised live on SportSouth and available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
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