Gamecocks take series

Stellar pitching was yet again the story at Carolina Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The combination of Matt Price, Tyler Webb and Forrest Koumas was just enough to escape with a 3-2 victory over the Elon Phoenix (4-2).

The Gamecocks (5-0) struck out a season high 16 batters, only allowing two unearned runs to score in the ninth when Elon was able to turn two hits, an error, and a hit batter into two runs. Forrest Koumas came in with two outs and the tying runner on second base, and ended the game with a swinging strikeout.

"Outstanding pitching gave us a chance to win today. Elon pitched extremely well also," coach Ray Tanner said. "They had a crack there at the end to keep it interesting after we had the miscue at second base. (Matt) Price was really good. The job Tyler (Webb) did was impressive and (Forrest) Koumas came in and had a couple good pitches as well."

Price went five innings and gave up just one hit, a low liner that found its way through the hole in right side of the infield. Facing only 16 batters on 81 pitches, Price tied a career high with eight strikeouts. The control issues that kept him from recording an out in the sixth inning of his first start of the season never surfaced, perhaps because Tanner handed the ball to junior left-hander Tyler Webb.

"When you can throw two breaking balls for strikes that gives you a great chance. His fastball still had some giddy-up," Tanner said about his starter's day. "It might not have been in the mid-nineties. He was throwing pretty well. He got behind a couple times 3-0 and he came back on hitters."

Webb also tied a career high for strikeouts in his outing, fanning seven Phoenix batters without having any baserunners heading into the ninth, shutout still in tact. But that's when things got a bit hairy.

"I hit a guy on the slider that moved more than I thought it would. I just kept another slider up and he hit a hard ground ball," Webb said. "I wasn't tired; it was a good piece of hitting on his part."

Forrest Koumas, the Gamecocks' new closer, allowed one more hit to bring the tying runner into scoring position, but struck out Columbia native Connor Lewis for the win and the save.

Tanner English led the Gamecocks from the dish with two hits and an RBI. South Carolina will take on Clemson in a three game series next weekend.

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