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Pitching dominant, USC sweeps Elon

South Carolina scored five runs in the first two innings and used another dominant pitching performance to coast to a 6-0 victory on Sunday afternoon against Elon. The Gamecocks (6-0) allowed seven hits all weekend and outscored the Phoenix (4-3) 17-3 over the three-game series.

Freshman Evan Beal struck out two in his one inning of work in South Carolina's 6-0 victory over Elon on Sunday.

Ten different pitchers took the mound for the Gamecocks over the weekend and combined to hold Elon to a .078 batting average. South Carolina had eight walks on the weekend and 32 strikeouts.

On Sunday, Elon was only able to get a runner into scoring position on two occasions and no runners advanced past second base. Catcher Ryan Kinsella was the only Elon player with a mulit-hit game on the weekend, which came on Sunday.

“Our starting pitching gave us a chance to win the game,” Tanner said. “(Holmes) was solid and the guys came in behind him and did a good job as well. We did what we needed to do on the mound.”

South Carolina put the game out of reach with just two swings of the bat in the first two innings. Junior LB Dantzler helped his team stake an early 3-0 lead in the first inning when his high fly ball to left center carried just over the wall and into the visitors bullpen.

The home run was Dantzler’s second of the season and bumped his RBI total to a team-leading nine.

In the bottom of the second inning, a freshman knocked in a pair of his classmates to give his team a lead that wouldn’t be threatened. Tanner English knocked a triple to the left field gap to score Joey Pankake, who singled and Connor Bright, who walked, to put the Gamecocks up 5-0 after two complete.

“We got out of the blocks pretty good today (offensively), but then Medick and Donald came in and shut us down pretty good,” Tanner said. “Fortunately we had a few runs on the board and we continued to pitch well.”

Holmes allowed at least one runner in each of the first four innings but the Phoenix were never really able to threaten. There were two runners on after a two-out double and a walk in the third, but the right-hander got a lineout to shortstop that Pankake snatched out of the air.

Junior Evan Marzilli’s fourth inning single to right field scored TJ Costen, who reached on an infield single, to give South Carolina a 6-0 lead. It was Costen’s third run scored in his young career. The freshman made his second career start, and his first in left field.

Holmes, who was on a limited pitch count, got into some trouble in the sixth inning. He allowed a walk and a hit before giving way to freshman Vince Fiori, who got out of the inning with a fly ball to right. Holmes finished the day without giving up a run on three hits and three walks over 5.2 innings. The right-hander struck out six on 88 pitches.

Junior Ethan Carter entered to begin the seventh and pitched two perfect innings. The right-hander struck out one and didn’t allow a base runner. Freshman Evan Beal closed out the game with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out.

“It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen a pitching staff like this,” Dantzler said. “It’s awesome to be a part of.”

South Carolina will take on Presbyterian on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery is the probable starter for the Gamecocks.

Box score

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