COLUMBIA - The University of South Carolina baseball team jumped out with seven runs in the first two innings and Will Sanders struck out 11 in seven innings of work in an 8-2 win over No. 4 Vanderbilt Friday night (March 25) at Founders Park.
The Gamecocks put up three in the first inning. Brandt Belk doubled to start the frame. He went to third on a Kevin Madden single and scored on Andrew Eyster's RBI single. Michael Braswell then singled to left, scoring Madden. After a walk to Colin Burgess, Thad Ector's sacrifice fly scored Eyster and Carolina led 3-0.
Carolina then scored four in the second. Evan Stone singled and scored on Belk's RBI double. Madden was hit by a pitch and with two on, Eyster homered to right for his fourth round tripper of the season. Vandy scraped single runs in the fourth and fifth frames. Carolina added a run in the sixth as Belk scored on a wild pitch.
Sanders allowed six hits and two runs with two walks to go with the 11 strikeouts to move to 4-1 on the season. Cade Austin struck out three in the final two innings as Carolina snapped its five-game losing streak and Vanderbilt's 18-game winning streak.
Eyster was 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Belk went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Madden and Braylen Wimmer added two hits apiece.
- Sanders was in double digits in strikeouts for the second time this season (14 vs. Clemson). He also has 10 career wins as a Gamecock.
- Brandt Belk extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the three-hit performance.
- Belk's two doubles tonight gives him a team-high seven on the season.
- Vandy starter Carter Holton had a .111 opponent's batting average heading into tonight's game, but Carolina had seven hits and scored seven runs off the freshman in 1.1 innings pitched.
- Carolina and Vanderbilt close out the three-game series Saturday afternoon (March 26) at 2 p.m. at Founders Park. The game will be on SEC Network Plus.