KNOXVILLE, TENN. — No. 11 South Carolina belted out a season-high 21 hits with 10 different Gamecocks recording at least one hit on the way to a 19-2 victory over Tennessee to sweep a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Sunday.
The Gamecocks, who host The Citadel on Tuesday at 7 p.m., improved to 26-7 and 8-4 in the SEC.
USC finished the weekend with 36 runs and 45 hits in three games versus the Volunteers (13-17, 3-9). The 19 runs on Sunday were the most in a game for the Gamecocks since 24 versus College of Charleston in 2011, and the most in a SEC game since scoring 20 in 2010 against Alabama.
Sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery worked four scoreless innings with no walks and a pair of strikeouts in his first appearance in a month.
Senior right-hander Colby Holmes (4-2) pitched the final five innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Tennessee starter Zack Godley (2-4) worked six innings and suffered the loss, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
USC’s 21-hit afternoon featured six multi-hit games for the Gamecocks. Both Grayson Greiner and Max Schrock each went 4 for 6 with two runs scored and four RBIs. LB Dantzler went 3 for 5 with two runs and a RBI, Brison Celek was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs scored, and Sean Sullivan and Chase Vergason added two hits apiece.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 2-0 in the top of the second inning. Dantzler led off with a single and Schrock followed with a base hit to center to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners with no outs. A sacrifice bunt from Connor Bright moved both up into scoring position.
Tennessee would get the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice as a hard grounder off the bat of Celek was fielded cleanly by third baseman Will Maddox, who threw home to nab Dantzler. With runners on the corners and two outs, Greiner would put Carolina on the board with a RBI single to left. Greiner jumped on Godley’s first pitch for a base hit scoring Schrock. The bottom of the order kept it going as Tanner English drove in Celek with a RBI single to left as well.
Heads-up defense in the bottom of the third kept Carolina ahead by two runs. Joey Pankake made a nice defensive play to ball in the hole for the first out of the inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Jeff Moberg hit a short fly to right field. Bright was able to record the second out and quickly flipped over to first base to double off Will Maddox.
Celek made it 4-0 in the fourth inning with a two-run homer, his first career homer for USC. After Bright reached base on a one-out throwing error by shortstop A.J. Simcox, the Gamecock designated hitter launched a 0-2 pitch from Godley down the left field line just inside the foul pole.
Carolina tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning. Vergason tripled down the right-field line for his first career triple. He scored on Pankake’s sacrifice fly to right-center. With two outs Dantzler doubled and scored on Schrock’s RBI single to right field.
Tennessee would use the long ball to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ethan Bennett knocked a 1-1 pitch from Holmes over the wall in left field for his second homer of the season.
South Carolina answered the Volunteers homer with a round-tripper in the sixth inning as Greiner belted his third homer of the year to give Carolina the 8-1 lead. Celek led off with a single that set the stage for Greiner, who launched a 0-1 pitch to left-center.
The Volunteers added an unearned run in the seventh inning with Wormsley reaching base on a throwing error by Pankake. With two outs, he would score on Taylor Smart’s RBI single.
South Carolina answered in the top of the eighth. Greiner led off with a single, his third hit of the game and English followed with a walk. Both then scored on a throwing error by Tennessee reliever Dalton Saberhagen, who fielded a sac bunt by Saiko but threw past first base. Vergason then chased Saberhagen from the game with a RBI base hit scoring Saiko. With two outs, Carolina scored its fourth run of the eighth as Schrock recorded a RBI single, his third hit of the day.
The ninth inning featured seven runs on six hits for the Gamecocks.
Pinch-hitter Sean Sullivan led off with a single, English was hit by a pitch with one out and Ahmad Christian reached base with a base hit to load the bases. Sullivan scored on Chase Vergason’s sac fly to right field. With two outs, the Gamecocks were not done though as six consecutive batters would increase the lead to 17 runs. Both pinch hitter George Iskenderian and Dantzler scored to score a run. Schrock added a two-run single with Bright driving in a run with a base hit and Sullivan’s second hit of the inning, a double also scoring a run. Greiner completed the scoring with a RBI base hit to make it 19-2.