COLUMBIA — LB Dantzler had a career-high four hits and five RBIs, including a three-run homer, and Graham Saiko reached base all five times with two runs scored and an RBI as No. 5 South Carolina defeated Albany, 8-3, on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (3-1) host the Great Danes (0-3) in a doubleheader today at noon.
Jordan Montgomery (2-0) worked five innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out five batters and walked three.
Montgomery’s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 172/3 on a solo home run by Josh Nethaway in the fourth inning.
Curt Britt was solid in four innings in his first stint on the mound to pick up a save.
Dantzler’s three-run blast in the sixth made it 8-2.
The Gamecocks went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning on Albany starter Kasceim Graham (0-1). Saiko drew a leadoff walk on four pitches. With two outs and Saiko on second base, Dantzler delivered with a RBI single to left field.
Carolina added three runs in the second inning. TJ Costen led off with a base hit, Chase Vergason walked and Tanner English had a bunt for a base hit to load the bases with no outs. Saiko got on base for the second time in the day with a RBI single to left scoring Costen. Joey Pankake added a one-out RBI single to right field scoring Vergason. Dantzler then drove in his second run of the game as he knocked a hard hit up the middle that struck Albany shortstop Gordon Madej in the chest. English would score on the play.
The Gamecocks would plate one more run in the third inning to increase the lead to 5-0 despite not tallying a hit. Vergason and English were each hit by a pitch with one out and reliever Cameron Sorgie walked Saiko to load the bases. Vergason would score on Max Schrock’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Albany added a run in the fifth inning as well with Gordon Madej driving in a run on a bloop RBI single to left-center.
Dantzler gave the Gamecocks a little more cushion in the bottom of the sixth inning with a three-run homer. Saiko led off with a single to reach base for the fourth time in the game. Max Schrock also walked. With runners on the corners, Dantzler crushed a three-run homer to right-center extending the lead to 8-2.
Albany added a single run in the ninth inning as pinch hitter Evan Harasta tallied a RBI single with two outs off of Britt.
The Gamecocks pounded out 11 hits on the afternoon. Saiko was 2-for-2 with two run scored and Chase Vergason added two runs as well.
Adam Mund went 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Great Danes at the plate.