COLUMBIA, SC Feb. 24, 2013 – Fresh off a no-hitter in game one of a doubleheader, fifth ranked South Carolina stormed ahead in the nightcap with six runs in the first three innings on the way to a 6-4 victory over Albany to sweep a doubleheader and the series vs. the Great Danes. Carolina is now 5-1 on the year while the loss drops Albany to 0-5 for the season.
South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings of work to pick up the win. He is now 1-1 for the season. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb recorded the final two outs of the game to pick up his second save of the year. Albany starting pitcher Austin Chase suffered the loss and is 0-2 for the season. He worked four innings and allowed six runs, three earned on seven hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts.
The Gamecocks broke ahead with three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Max Schrock reached base with one out on a fielding error by Austin Chase. Carolina then struck for a pair of hits as Joey Pankake singled followed by a RBI double to right field off the bat of LB Dantzler. With runners on second and third, Pankake would score as a deep fly to right field off the bat of Kyle Martin was dropped by Albany right fielder D.J. Hoagboon. Dantzler would score Carolina’s third run of the inning on Grayson Greiner’s RBI sacrifice fly to center.
Carolina added to the lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Tanner English reached base with a one-out double and scored on Max Schrock’s two-out RBI triple to left-center. The triple was the first of the season for the Gamecocks. The lead extended to 6-0 in the third inning. Dantzler doubled and after a Kyle Martin walk would score on Grayson Greiner’s RBI single up the middle. After a walk to Chase Vergason loaded the bases, Martin would score on TJ Costen’s RBI sacrifice fly to left-center.
Albany struck for a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Josh Nethaway, Greg Muller and D.J. Hoagboon opened the frame with three consecutive singles including a RBI base hit from Hoagboon. With two outs, Muller would score on a RBI single off the bat of Evan Harasta.
Albany wasn’t done and scored twice more in the ninth inning. Adam Mund singled for his third hit of the day with one out followed by a double off the bat of Jeff Welsh. The Gamecocks then went to the pen for Webb to close out the game. Evan Harasta knocked a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Mund. Nolan Gaige added a two-out RBI single scoring Welsh. With the tying run at the plate, Webb dug in and struck out Gordon Madej to preserve the Carolina victory.
South Carolina won despite being outhit 11-10 in the contest. Dantzler went 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. He was 9-for-13 in the series with 10 RBI. He is hitting .545 (12-for-22) after two weeks of play with three homers and 13 RBI. Max Schrock was also 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Mund went 3-for-4 to lead Albany at the plate. Gaige and Hoagboon added two hits apiece also.
South Carolina returns to action Tuesday afternoon hosting Furman at Carolina Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.”