USC completes sweep; CSU falls in 15

COLUMBIA — Alex Destino hit a big three-run home run to fuel No. 13 South Carolina, which completed a series sweep with a 6-4 victory over Northeastern on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina (6-1) produced a season-high 13 hits, including multi-hit performances from Destino (3 for 4), Elliott Caldwell (3 for 4), Jordan Gore (2 for 5) and Gene Cone (2 for 5).

Freshman reliever Clarke Schmidt (2-0) earned his second win of the season, working 21/3 innings and giving up one run and five hits while striking out three.

The Huskies finished with 15 hits, including a 5-for-5 effort from Pat Madigan.

Northeastern (2-4) took its first lead of the series with a two-run first inning. The Huskies strung together four-consecutive two-out singles, including RBI singles by Nick Fanneron and Lang, to jump out to a 2-0 lead.

The Gamecocks cut Northeastern’s lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first. Cone led off the inning with a single to right field and later scored on a wild pitch by Northeastern starter James Mulry. Cone has hit safely in all seven games this year and has an eight-game hitting streak dating back to last season.

USC took control in the fifth with a five-run outburst. Gore and Caldwell each had a RBI single to give Carolina a 3-2 lead. Destino then highlighted the inning by blasting a three-run home run to right field, his second of the season, to extend the Gamecocks lead to 6-2.

The Huskies cut Carolina’s lead to 6-3 in the sixth, as Lang scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Scambia.

Foster made it a 6-4 ballgame in the ninth as he scored on a wild pitch by Gamecocks reliever Taylor Widener. However, Widener bounced back to retire the next three batters to seal the win and pick up his second save of the season.

LaSalle’s Cameron Johnson doubled home Ethan Springston in the top of the 15th inning as the Explorers topped Charleston Southern, 9-8, at CSU Ballpark.

The game ties the longest in CSU history, matching games played in 1968 and 2014. LaSalle (4-3) claimed the weekend series with the win.

The Buccaneers (4-2) left 18 runners on base and couldn’t come up with the decisive hit after rallying from a late 8-4 deficit to force extra innings. LaSalle left only six on base.

“It’s frustrating,” CSU coach Stuart Lake said after almost a five hours of play. “We had some things work against us, but still had opportunities to win. I like the toughness we showed to rally, but you have to find a way to finish too.”

The loss spoiled a strong start from Denis Buckley, who worked 61/3 strong innings, surrendering one earned run and striking out five. Evan Raynor (0-1) took the loss, but struck out six and gave up only one run in four innings.

CSU finally broke through in the sixth, as Andrew Widell, Robbie Streett and Sam Remick all doubled to score the Bucs’ first two runs.

LaSalle answered back in the bottom of the seventh. Michael Flax reached on a swinging bunt single to set the stage for Josh Savakinus. The Explorers third baseman lined a two-run home run to right field off of Bucs’ reliever Chayce Hubbard to knot the game at 2.

Widell ripped a two-run home run to right center in the seventh to give CSU the lead right back at 4-2.

LaSalle came right back in the eighth. Ryan Welling followed a leadoff walk with a two-run home run off of Wil Hartsell to make it 4-4.

The Explorers seemingly broke the game open in the eighth, pushing their lead to 8-4 with six runs in the inning. But the Bucs rallied back to force extra innings as Chase Shelton has a two-run single and Brandon Burris had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth to tie the game at 8.

The Bucs left eight runners on base in extra innings, including loading the bases with one out in the 11th, but LaSalle’s Mark Williams (1-0) came on to get Nate Blanchard to ground into a fielder’s choice at the plate and struck out Hannifin.

Three Bucs — Widell, Hannifin and Murphy — set a school record with eight at-bats in a single game.

LaSalle used nine pitchers, while CSU used six. The Bucs outhit the Explorers, 16-12.

CSU reliever Joe Pistacchio gave up two hits and struck out three in three innings pitched. Streett was 3 for 4 and scored twice, while Remick was 2 for 5.

Charleston Southern hosts Furman at 6 p.m. Tuesday at CSU Ballpark.