Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe struck out a career-high nine batters in eight scoreless innings and an Elliot Caldwell sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth was enough to help lift top ranked South Carolina to a 1-0 victory over Brown to sweep a three-game series at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 15-0 with Brown dropping to 0-3 for the season. The Gamecocks tallied three shutouts this weekend and have eight shutouts in 15 games on the year.
Crowe is now 3-0 after allowing just four hits and one walk in his fourth start of the season. Joel Seddon pitched a perfect inning of relief to pick up his fifth save. Seddon has not allowed a run or hit in eight appearances with 9.2 innings pitched. Brown freshman right-hander Christian Taugner almost matched Crowe as he allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
"I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes," said Crowe. "I'm really confident in my defense and they hardly ever make errors. They play the game hard and give it all they have, all the time. I'm just happy I was able to throw strikes today and let the defense do their work."
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Grayson Greiner led off with a walk, Kyle Martin singled and Connor Bright reached on a fielder's choice as Brown third baseman Marc Sredojevic missed on a tag attempt as Greiner made his way to third base to load the bases. Caldwell would work a 2-2 count and drive the eighth pitch he saw from Taugner into right-center scoring Greiner.
Three Gamecock players accounted for a pair of hits. Marcus Mooney extended his hitting streak to nine games with two hits; Martin added two as well with Weber Pike going 2-for-3 in his first start as a designated hitter.
"We were very fortunate and lucky to win this game today," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "It was an incredible well-pitched game by Wil (Crowe) and by Joel (Seddon) to get the last three outs. They threw very well. I don't think we had much gas in the tank today, so to speak, from an offensive standpoint. With that being said, I thought we were better than just one run. I thought we swung the bats a lot better than just one run, but we failed to get the run in from third with two outs (in the sixth inning) and that about came back to get us. Jordan (Gore) was 0-for-3, but hit two balls on the nose. It was good to see a freshmen stand up there and put some good swings on it. He didn't have anything to show for it, but that's baseball. Without having Max (Schrock) or Joey (Pankake) in there, we are a little bit different of an offensive team. Not having those guys in there affected us a little bit. On top of that DC (Arendas), Grayson (Greiner), or Connor (Bright) didn't get a hit, so we're very fortunate to have won the game. Sometimes, there are some games that you play in baseball that you think you might, should've lost it and we won anyway. I think to have a special type season and a special year you have to win these types for games. We're very fortunate that we have a pitching staff that we can rely on. If you pitch and play defense, like I always say, you have a chance to win and we did that again today."
South Carolina returns to action on Tuesday hosting Furman at Carolina Stadium. Fans are encouraged to arrive early at 6:50 p.m. as the Gamecocks will honor Martha Childress before the contest in a pregame ceremony.