Another series win for USC

Ray Tanner (left), Joey Pankake and the ninth-ranked Gamecocks next host Alabama on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina won its fourth straight Southeastern Conference series as well as its eighth consecutive game against a league foe when the ninth-ranked Gamecocks defeated Auburn, 11-7, on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (30-11, 11-7) swept the three-game series from Auburn (21-19, 7-11) behind an 11-hit attack that featured home runs from LB Dantzler and Erik Payne.

South Carolina resumes play Thursday when the Gamecocks kick off a three-game home series versus Alabama. The first game is at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU, followed by a Friday game at 7 p.m. and a Saturday matchup at 1:30 p.m.

Junior right-hander Colby Holmes (6-0) picked up the victory Sunday, allowing four runs on nine hits while tying a career high with seven strikeouts in five innings of work.

USC’s big day of offense included a 4- for-5 effort from freshman outfielder Tanner English. Dantzler was 3 for 5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Payne drove in a career-high four RBIs as well.

For the second time in the series, the Gamecocks broke ahead 4-0 in the top of the first inning, using two Auburn errors to their advantage.

With two outs, Payne came through as he launched a three-run homer to right field, his third of the season.

USC pushed its lead to 8-1 in the fifth inning, and a solo home run by Dantzler, his seventh of the season, gave the Gamecocks a five-run cushion in the top of the seventh.

The homer tied Dantzler with Christian Walker for the team lead in home runs.

Two more runs in the eighth inning increased USC’s lead to seven.