Gamecocks take Princeton series

Matt Price gave up just a run and four hits in six innings as South Carolina defeated Princeton 6-1 Saturday evening at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina improves to 12-1 on the season and will go for the three-game sweep tomorrow at 1:30. Christian Walker led the Gamecocks at the plate with a three-for-four day and two RBIs.

It's becoming routine for South Carolina's pitching staff.

Three South Carolina pitchers combined to give up just one run on six hits as the Gamecocks defeated Princeton 6-1 Saturday evening at Carolina Stadium to take their fourth straight weekend series to start the season.

Redshirt junior Matt Price continues to make the transition from All-American closer to weekend starter, and earned the win in arguably his best overall start of the season.

Price allowed just a run and six hits in six innings of work. Most importantly, he issued just a single walk and didn't hit any batsmen -- free passes had been an issue to this point in the season. He also struck out six.

"Last weekend against Clemson I threw about 100 pitches in four innings and threw about 100 today and got through six innings," Price said. "I just want to keep having that quality outing to give our team in a chance to win and it's been feeling better every week."

Tyler Webb came on in relief of Price in the seventh with South Carolina leading 4-1 and again looked sharp. He's been one of South Carolina's best left-handed options out of the bullpen. Webb mowed down the first three batters he faced including two strike outs in the first frame.

Webb gave way to Forrest Koumas with two outs in the eigth. Koumas pitched the final 1.1 innings and gave up just a hit to earn the save.

At the plate, Christian Walker led the way with a three-for-four game. He also accounted for two RBIs and a run scored.

"Once again, the key for us to be successful is to do a good job on the mound and Matt Price gave us a quality start today," head coach Ray Tanner said. "Runs were hard to come by early and then we capitalized on a mistake or two and got some hits. Pretty well played game on our part as far as double digit hits and didn't commit an error. It was a good win for us."

South Carolina struck first. Marzilli led off the game with a walk and then stole second base. Following a Tanner English strikeout, Walker doubled to right center allowing Marzilli to score easily.

Princeton answered to tie the game in the second. After a strikeout to start the frame, Steve Harrington singled to left center. Tyler Servais then made a bid at a two-run home run to right field but the park just held it as Matthews couldn't hold on to complete the leaping grab up against the wall. With runners at second and third, Nate Baird's groundout to shortstop scored Harrinton to tie the game 1-1.

Price got a flyout to center field to end the inning.

Walker and Dantzler led off the fifth inning with singles to put runners at the corners for Matthews. A passed ball by catcher Sam Mulroy allowed Walker to score easily and put the Gamecocks up 2-1.

But Princeton again stepped up with runners in scoring position and got three quick outs in a row to avoid the big inning.

Princeton again got a quality start from its starting pitcher in a losing effort. Right-hander Mike Ford allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in five innings of work. He also struck out three and walked four.

South Carolina added two more in the sixth when left-hander Michael Fagan came in relief of Ford.

Dante Rosenberg led off the inning with a single and Payne successfully sacrificed him over. After a Marzilli walk and English flyout, Walker ripped a single to centerfield that went under the glove of Mishu and allowed both runs to score to put South Carolina up 4-1.

South Carolina extended the lead to 5-1 in the seventh when Rosenberg delivered his second single of the game to score pinch-runner Joey Pankake.

The Gamecocks added their final run in the eighth. With two outs in the inning, Matthews appeared to ground out to the Tigers' sure-handed shortstop, but he made his first defensive mistake of the series firing the throw high and off the inside of the Gamecocks' dugout. English scored easily.

South Carolina will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at Carolina Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 with Colby Holmes on the mound for Carolina.

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