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Analysis: Թϱ baseball notches 17 strikeouts in midweek loss to Georgia Southern

<p>Fifth-year infielder Parker Noland throws the ball toward first base during the Gamecocks' loss to the Georgia Southern on April 3, 2024. Noland went 1-4 at bat, and the team totaled 4 hits overall.</p>
Fifth-year infielder Parker Noland throws the ball toward first base during the Gamecocks' loss to the Georgia Southern on April 3, 2024. Noland went 1-4 at bat, and the team totaled 4 hits overall.

The Թϱ baseball team was shut out in its midweek matchup against Georgia Southern on Wednesday, losing the game 8-0. 

Georgia Southern was first to make it on the board, as freshman pitcher Eddie Copper surrendered a home run in the second inning to put the Eagles up 1-0. Copper then gave up a single and a walk before being pulled from the game due to injury. 

The Gamecocks had to turn to the bullpen a little earlier than expected, as fifth-year pitcher Ty Good was brought in with two runners on base and zero outs. Just as it seemed he could escape the jam, striking out two batters, he surrendered a walk that led to a grand slam to put the Eagles up 5-0. 

“Ty is one our best guys,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “He gave up a home run there, but he will continue to be one our best guys. Sometimes they just hit your pitch.” 

Թϱ’s lineup was unable to get anything going all night and was completely shut out for the first time all season. The Gamecocks' best chance at scoring some points came in the seventh inning, when it loaded the bases off three consecutive walks, but it left all three runners stranded.  

Here are some takeaways from the game as Թϱ looks to take on No. 3 Texas A&M this weekend.

Bats have rough night at plate

The Gamecocks finished the matchup with just four hits and only managed to force three walks. 

“We were out of rhythm all night. They threw some guys with some pretty good arms,” Kingston said. “I’m shocked that we got shut out tonight with the wind blowing out. Didn’t see it coming.” 

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All three walks came in the seventh inning, when senior catcher Dalton Reeves pinch-hit for sophomore shortstop Will Tippett with the bases loaded. Reeves failed to cash in any runs, however, as he struck out to end any momentum the Gamecocks had left. 

Two of the four Gamecock hits were extra-base hits off the bats of junior outfielder Kennedy Jones and junior catcher Cole Messina. 

But the Gamecocks failed to record a hit with runners in scoring position, finishing the night 0/5. 

Bullpen has a solid yet long day

Despite the swing Good gave up in the second inning that allowed four runs, the bullpen put in a solid performance in this game.  

Junior pitcher Dylan Eskew finished the game with two innings pitched. He had four strikeouts and didn’t allow any walks. 

Junior pitcher Matthew Becker pitched the fifth inning for the Gamecocks, allowing only one hit with no runs scored. Becker also struck out two of his three batters faced. 

Sophomore pitcher Connor McCreery and freshman pitcher Parker Marlatt pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Gamecocks. Both turned in perfect innings, and both struck out two. 

Freshman pitcher Jake McCoy was next to pitch for Թϱ. He pitched 1.2 innings and struck out two, allowing only one hit and two walks. 

Junior pitcher Tyler Dean came out in the ninth inning with two runners on and two outs. He hit two batters in a row to bring in a run before allowing a passed ball to bring in another run. Dean picked up a strikeout to finish the inning. 

Despite the loss, the Gamecocks' pitching staff finished with 17 strikeouts. 

Injury bug biting Gamecocks at the wrong time

Copper exited the game early in the second inning with an apparent arm injury. 

He has pitched 23.2 innings on the season, with 12 runs on 23 hits so far. He has also allowed just 11 walks and tallied 27 strikeouts.  

Copper has played a major role in the Gamecocks' pitching staff in his first collegiate season, as Kingston has relied on him during the midweek matchups. 

Sophomore outfielder Ethan Petry also exited this game after getting hit by a pitch on the kneecap in the ninth inning.  

“Petry should be fine. He just got hit on that bruise that he’s had on his knee,” Kingston said. 

The Gamecocks' cleanup hitter has 32 hits this season, including 12 home runs and 28 RBIs. Petry also leads the team with 29 walks. 

What’s next? 

The Gamecocks will look to bounce back this weekend in a three-game series against No. 3 Texas A&M at Founders Park. Game one will be on Friday at 7 p.m., game two will be on Saturday at 4 p.m. and game three will be on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. All games will be broadcast on SEC Network+. 


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