COLUMBIA (USC SID) – Sophomore Wes Clarke drove in a career-high seven runs with a pair of round trippers as the University of South Carolina baseball team scored eight runs in the first two innings in a 12-3 win over Northwestern Saturday afternoon (Feb. 22) at Founders Park.
Northwestern scored a run as the first three Wildcats reached on hits. Carolina responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, two of the bat of Jeff Heinrich, who singled to left to score Clarke and Andrew Eyster. The Gamecock bats then had five runs off five hits in the second, with Clarke’s home run to left the big blow in the frame.
Carolina starter Brett Kerry settled down to pitch six innings and allow seven hits and three runs with three strikeouts and a walk, earning his second win of the season.
Clarke’s second home run of the game, a grand slam, happened in the sixth inning. The Gamecocks had 13 hits on the day, led by Clarke’s 3-for-4 performance. Noah Campbell and Braylen Wimmer had two hits apiece.
The Gamecock bullpen threw up zeroes in the final three innings, as TJ Shook, John Gilreath and Brett Thomas combined to strike out six Wildcats.
- Clarke’s seven RBI were two shy of a school record for a game, which is held by five different Gamecocks, most recently Justin Smoak on April 15, 2008 vs. USC Upstate.
- Clarke now has four home runs and 13 RBI on the season.
- George Callil drove in three runs in the win and has been hit by a pitch four times this season.
- Brett Thomas made his first appearance in a Gamecock uniform on the mound, striking out a batter in the ninth.
- Kerry picked up his sixth career win in a Gamecock uniform and has 80 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched.
Carolina and Northwestern wrap up the three-game series Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23) with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch at Founders Park.