The win kept USC unbeaten at 17-0. One nonconference game remains, Tuesday against Davidson, before the Gamecocks host LSU in a showdown series to open SEC play next weekend.
Matt Campbell allowed only two baserunners in seven innings to earn the victory. Campbell (4-0) struckout 11, walked none, and gave up only one hit, a single in the fourth.
He finished with a flourish, striking out four of the last five batters to face him and picked off a runner. Campbell faced only 22 batters, one over the minimum.
Nursing a 4-0 lead, USC broke the game open with four runs in the 6th and eight runs in the 7th.
Bryan Triplett led USC's 11-hit attack with two hits, including a two-run homer during the eight-run seventh, and four RBI. Steven Tolleson had two hits and two RBI.
USC snapped a scoreless tie with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd. After the Gamecocks loaded the bases on a walk to Ryan Mahoney, an error by the Delaware State second baseman, and an infield single by Steve Tolleson, Triplett lined a two-run double to left-center that scored Mahoney and Davy Gregg.
Steve Pearce failed to drive in a run when he grounded out to third. USC reloaded the bases on a walk to Landon Powell.
Michael Campbell plated Tolleson with the third run of the inning with a 6-4 forceout at second.
As the USC bats were coming alive, Campbell was mowing down the Delaware State hitters. The lefthander from Gray Court, SC did not yield a hit until a one-out single in the 4th. He had six strikeouts through the first four innings.
USC put two runners in scoring position with one out in the fourth on a walk, single to right by Davy Gregg, and a wild pitch.
Tolleson lined a drive to deep LF that was caught a few feet in front of the warning track. Mahoney scored easily to give USC a 4-0 lead.
A two-out error in the 6th by Tolleson at shortstop gave Delaware State its second baserunner of the game. Campbell picked the runner off to end the inning.
USC put it out of reach with four runs in the 6th. Trey McDaniel walked to open the inning for USC. Pinchrunner Steven Reinhold stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Reinhold scored when the Hornets third baseman scooped up Davy Gregg's squibber and threw wide of the bag at first. The run gave USC a 5-0 lead.
Gregg stole second and third before scoring on Tolleson's line drive single to left.
Delaware State brought in a submariner to face Triplett, who was promptly plunked on the left shoulder with a pitch. Pearce followed with a line-drive double to left-center that scored Tolleson with the third run of the inning.
Powell drove in Triplett, making it 8-0, when the Delaware State shortstop made a nice play behind the second base bag and threw out Powell at first.
Campbell struckout the side in the 7th, as the crowd counted up the strikeout total with each whiff.
Hank Parks continued USC's late inning onslaught with a three-run homer in the 7th. The blast, which followed a walk and hit batsman, increased USC's lead to 11-0.
Two batters later, Triplett connected on a two-run blast down the left-field line for a 13-0 advantage.
Three more runs scored when the Delaware State rightfielder let Nick Gardiner's single slip past him and roll to the wall. Gardiner circled the bases to make it 16-0.
With USC safely ahead, Ray Tanner went to the bullpen to the 8th. Freshman Andrew Cruse and veteran Cliff Donald surrendered a pair of runs to end the shutout bid.
Sophomore John Gregory came on for the 9th and allowed two baserunners before being pulled in favor of closer Chad Blackwell. After a run scored, a 6-4-3 double play ended the game.
NOTES: Matt Campbell matched his season high with 11 strikeouts Sunday. He also had 11 K's against George Mason. . .Campbell has not given up a run in 27.2 IP this season. He has 43 strikeouts and two walks. . .Campbell is one of three USC pitchers who are 4-0. Aaron Rawl and Billy Buckner have identical records. . .Delaware State committed five errors Sunday. . .USC pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and no walks Sunday. They now have 203 strikeouts and 17 walks in 152 innings pitched thus far. . .USC still has not batted in the bottom of the ninth this season. . .21 players saw action for USC Sunday. . .D.J. Smith, a junior transfer from USC-Salkahatchie, and normally the USC bullpen catcher, saw his first action of the season in the 9th. . .USC had double figures in hits for the 15th time in 17 games. . .Steven Pearce leads USC with nine HR and 29 RBI after 17 games.
DEL – 000 000 021 = 3-5-5
USC – 003 104 80x = 16-11-1
WP-Matt Campbell (4-0)
LP-Eric Carter (1-2)
HR-USC, Ryan Mahoney (7th, 2 on); Bryan Triplett (7th, 1 on).
Next Game: Tues. 3/16 v. Davidson, 7:00 p.m.
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