COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of South Carolina baseball team opens NCAA Tournament play with a resounding 19-1 win over Central Connecticut State Friday night (June 2) at Founders Park. The Gamecocks picked up their 40th win of the season and moved along into the winner's bracket in the NCAA Columbia Regional.
The Gamecocks struck first with a run in the second as Ethan Petry walked with the bases loaded. Carolina exploded for four runs in the fourth. Gavin Casas' double to left scored Talmadge LeCroy. The big hit was a three-run home run from Will McGillis that just got over the wall in left for his 11th home run of the season.
The Gamecock then exploded for 11 runs in the fourth as the Gamecocks brought 17 men to the plate. The big hits were a two-run double from Casas, a two-run double by Cole Messina and a three-run double from Michael Braswell.
Carolina added a three-spot in the fifth as Ethan Petry hit a moonshot to left field that almost cleared the bleachers.
James Hicks picked up the win, his eighth of the season. He allowed just one hit with six strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work.
Casas had three hits to lead the Gamecock offensive attack, while Casas, McGillis, Petry and Braswell had three RBI apiece.
- The last time the Gamecocks scored 10 or more runs in a game was in the third inning on March 9, 2010 against Valparaiso.
- The 19 runs are the most in an NCAA Tournament game for the Gamecocks since they scored 23 runs against Rhode Island in the 2016 Columbia Regional.
- Will Sanders made his first appearance on the mound since the beginning of May, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Carolina will face North Carolina State in Game 4 of the 2023 NCAA Columbia Regional on Saturday night (June 3) at 6 p.m. at Founders Park. The television designation will be announced later tonight.