COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Alex Destino homered twice, including his second career grand slam, and John Jones added a grand slam, his third homer of the year as well, as 15th-ranked South Carolina defeated Penn State 16-5 on Saturday afternoon at Founders Park. The Gamecocks improve to 7-0 on the year, while the Nittany Lions drop to 2-4.
Freshmen right-hander Braden Webb improved to 2-0 with the victory. He allowed two runs, both unearned on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work. Penn State right-hander Sal Biasi suffered the loss and is now l-1 on the year. He allowed six runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
The Gamecocks took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jonah Bride singled to third base and Jones walked to set the stage for Destino. On a 2-2 pitch, Destino drove his first homer of the season over the right field fence to give Carolina a three-run lead.
A pair of errors led to two unearned runs in the top of the third for Penn State. With two outs, Conlin Hughes reached base on a throwing error. After a wild pitch advanced him into scoring position, Greg Guers singled to score the run. After a stolen base, Jim Haley would reach on an infield single. A low throw would allow Guers to score from third base on the play to cut the Gamecocks' lead to one run.
A seven-run third inning would give the Gamecocks a 10-2 lead, highlighted by Destino's second home run of the game, a grand slam. LT Tolbert led off the inning with a single followed by a walk to Gene Cone. With one out, Marcus Mooney would drive in Tolbert with a RBI double. After a two-out walk to Dom Thompson-Williams, the Gamecocks would score their second run of the inning on a RBI single from Bride. Jones would then walk to load the bases and set the stage again for Destino. Destino launched a 1-2 pitch to give the Gamecocks an eight-run lead.
Carolina added a run in the fourth and Jones' grand slam in the sixth was part of a five-run frame. Penn State would score single runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings.
Destino went 3-for-6 with two runs and a career-high seven RBI. Blair went 3-for-5 and Bride, Tolbert, DC Arendas, Mooney added two hits also. Mooney tallied two RBI as well.