Top ranked South Carolina broke out to a three-run lead in the first two innings and six pitchers combined for a five-hit shutout as the Gamecocks defeated Furman 5-0 on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina improves to 16-0 on the year with its ninth shutout of the season. Carolina has shut out four consecutive opponents. Furman drops to 6-10 on the season.
Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener earned his first career win in a predetermined split. He allowed just a hit and two walks in 3.1 innings. Trey McNickle, Josh Reagan, Reed Scott, Hunter Privette and Cody Mincey all had scoreless outings as well. The Gamecock bullpen has not allowed a run in 47.2 innings dating back to the first game of the season. Furman left-hander Billy Greenfield suffered the loss and is 1-1 on the year. He allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits in 3.2 innings.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Connor Bright reached base on a one-out single, Grayson Greiner drew a two-out walk and Elliot Caldwell knocked a RBI single up the middle to score Bright.
That lead increased to 3-0 as Carolina took advantage of a pair of Furman errors. DC Arendas walked with one out and advanced to second on a failed pickoff by Greenfield. He would score on Tanner English's two-out single to right field. After Marcus Mooney reached on a fielding error by Furman third baseman Chris Ohmsted, the Gamecocks scored the third run on a RBI double off the bat of Bright, his team-leading ninth of the season.
Caldwell's second RBI hit of the evening increased the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning. Greiner would knock a two-out double to left-center and score on Caldwell's base hit up the middle. Kyle Martin added a solo homer in the seventh inning to give the Gamecocks a 5-0 advantage. Martin's homer was his third of the year.
The Gamecocks honored USC student Martha Childress before the game by presenting her a team jersey and a check for 1,000.00 to go towards her trust fund for continued care.
South Carolina begins SEC play on Friday, March 14 beginning a three-game series with Ole Miss. First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game." It will also be streamed live on ESPN3 and the All Access Channel on GamecocksOnline.