COLUMBIA (USC SID)– The University of South Carolina baseball team’s offense exploded for 20 runs, scoring in six of the eight innings, in a 20-3 win over UMass Lowell to open the 2023 season Friday night (Feb. 17) at Founders Park.
Eight different Gamecocks had hits in the win, led by Braylen Wimmer’s 5-for-5 performance with a home run. Will McGillis hit a pair of home runs and drove in three while Carson Hornung had five RBI in a 2-for-4 day. Cole Messina collected his first career home runs and drove in three.
Carolina took the lead for good in the third inning on Messina’s two-run home run to center field, part of a three-run frame to make it 5-2 Gamecocks. The Gamecocks plated five in the fourth, seven in the sixth and two in the eighth for the most runs by a Carolina team since 2016.
Will Sanders struck out three and allowed three hits and two runs in four innings in his first start of 2023. James Hicks earned the win, striking out two in a pair of scoreless frames. Austin Williamson pitched the final two frames, striking out three.
- Carolina improved to 90-41 all-time in season openers.
- Wimmer’s five hits are the most by a Gamecock since Gene Cone against Missouri on April 24, 2016.
- Hornung’s five RBI are the most since Andrew Eyster had six in a win over Alabama on April 30, 2022.
- The 20 runs in a season opener are the most for the Gamecocks since Carolina scored 22 runs in a 22-5 win over East Carolina on Feb. 23, 2008.
- The 20 runs are the most by a Gamecock team since June 5, 2016 in a 23-2 win over Rhode Island in an NCAA Regional.
- Sanders started on Opening Day for the second straight season.
- Hicks made his first appearance since Feb. 26, 2022, after missing most of last season with an injury.
- Caleb Denny, McGillis, Ethan Petry and Chris Veach each had their first career hit in a Gamecock uniform in the win.
Carolina and UMass Lowell continue its three-game series on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a 2 p.m. first pitch. The game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus.