COLUMBIA (USC SID) – Georgia’s Emerson Hancock struck out 12 in seven innings and the Bulldogs put up four runs in the sixth inning to take the series opener with the University of South Carolina baseball team, 6-1, Friday night (March 15) at Founders Park.
Georgia scored a pair of runs in the top of the second on John Cable’s two-run home run to center. The Gamecocks answered in the third as freshman Brady Allen belted a solo shot into the bullpen in right field, his third of the season.
Freshman Wesley Sweatt, making his second start of the season, allowed just five hits and struck out a batter, but ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. Cam Shepherd reached on an error to start the inning. He went to second on Riley King’s single. Both runners scored on Aaron Schunk’s triple to right. John Gilreath came in and allowed a pair of walks, a sacrifice fly to center and a double to right off the bat of Patrick Sullivan.
Hancock allowed four hits and a run with two walks to go along with the career-high 12 strikeouts. Sweatt was tagged with the loss. Hayden Lehman and Dylan Harley had a pair of strikeouts apiece in their relief outing.
King had three hits to lead Georgia while Sullivan had a pair of safties. Allen drove in Carolina’s lone run, while Andrew Eyster doubled in the sixth.
Aaron Schunk’s two-run triple put the Bulldogs up 4-1 in the sixth after Carolina was toe-to-toe with Georgia for the first five innings.
Georgia pitching struck out 15 batters. Hancock had a career-high 12 while Justin Glover struck out the side in the eighth.
The game was the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Georgia has won four games in a row in the all-time series against the Gamecocks.
The five hits by the Gamecocks ties a season low.
Allen now has home runs in the season opener and the SEC opener this season.
Carolina and Georgia will play game two of the three-game set Saturday afternoon (March 16) at 4 p.m. at Founders Park.