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How South Carolina baseball secured Sunday victory, series win over Belmont

South Carolina has feasted on subpar pitching this season. Some of it has been strictly the efforts of opposing teams in Founders Park so far. Some of it has to do with the patience and approach that has been preached about.

That early season trend continued Sunday afternoon in the rubber game with Belmont. The Gamecocks raced to an early lead and coasted to a 12-1 victory to take the series two games to one. The game ended after eight innings due to the mercy-run rule. It’s the fourth time this season the Gamecocks have induced the run-rule.

South Carolina (7-1) scored six runs in the first inning after spotting the Bruins a run in the top of the first inning.

Kennedy Jones made his first start in a USC uniform a memorable one. He homered to right field to lead off the bottom half of the frame to tie it up quickly. Jones added another RBI later in the first inning and added an RBI single in the third inning.

It will be a huge boost to the Gamecocks lineup if they can get Jones going offensively. He transferred to Columbia after two stellar seasons at UNC Greensboro. Last year, he was an All-Southern Conference selection when he hit .357 with 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. In two seasons with the Spartans, he drove in 116 runs and hit 25 home runs.

After Jones led off with the home run, South Carolina forced starting pitcher Jalen Borders to throw 43 pitches before exiting after recording only one out while facing nine batters.

The Gamecocks walked four times and were hit by pitches two other times. Ryan Bakes and Gavin Casas drove in runs with bases loaded walks and Will Tippett was hit by a pitch to bring in another run. Dylan Brewer had an RBI single, and Jones brought in the final run when he reached on an error.

Cole Messina hit his second home run of the season in the fourth inning.

Roman Kimball allowed the single run in the first inning when his two walks led to a Belmont run in the top of the first. He threw 65 pitches, 44 for strikes, while allowing two hits with four strikeouts and two walks in four innings.

Matthew Becker earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief.

South Carolina baseball schedule this week

  • Tuesday, vs. Gardner-Webb, 4 p.m. (SEC Network Plus)

  • Friday vs. Clemson, 7 p.m. (SEC Network Plus)

  • Saturday vs. Clemson at Segra Park, 4 p.m. (radio only)

  • Sunday at Clemson, 2 p.m. (ACC Network Extra)