Cisco Masterful In 12-3 Win Over Citadel

Mike Cisco struck out a career high ten batters in seven full innings of work, as the Gamecocks cruised to a 12-3 win against The Citadel on Wednesday night at the Sarge. Carolina is now 36-14 on the season and will hit the road this weekend against Tennessee for their final conference road series of the year.


Cisco (4-2) earned the win in his best performance of the year, giving up only four hits and no earned runs while throwing just 88 pitches.

"It felt good to go out there. I was feeding off the momentum (from) last weekend, and I was just trying to keep us in the game," said Cisco following his masterful performance. "We needed this one in order to increase our chances to host and keep the momentum on our side going into Tennessee this weekend."

Cisco had command of all his pitches, and Head Coach Ray Tanner says Cisco's performance gives him something to think about for the playoff rotation.

"He wants to pitch" Tanner said. "His fastball is going good, and when he wasn't going good his fastball was down. Now it's coming out again, and he's going to get an opportunity to pitch."

The Gamecock lineup gave Cisco a hand by pounding out 15 hits, including four solo home runs in the first five innings by Justin Smoak, Jon Willard, Reese Havens and Steven Reinhold. Reinhold's was his first of the year.

After The Citadel scored one in the 7th to make it a 4-1 ballgame, the Gamecocks answered with two more of their own in the bottom of the 7th. Phil Disher and Trent Kline each knocked in runs after Travis Jones and James Darnell singled to lead off the inning. Disher went 3-3 with a walk and an RBI but was outdone by Reese Havens who went 4-5 with three RBIs.

"We came out ready to play today, and it just seemed to go our way," said Havens. "Playing well today now gets us ready and rolling into the weekend."

Carolina added six more in the 8th, and it started with a 12 pitch at bat by Reese Havens that ended with a double to left center. Drew Martin recorded a RBI walk scoring Havens. Kline then doubled down the right field line to score two more, and after a Cheyne Hurst walk to load the bases, DeAngelo Mack recorded his first hit as a Gamecock when he singled to left to score Martin. Havens would later get his second hit of the inning, scoring Hurst and Kline.

Wynn Pelzer pitched the final two innings and struck out two in a perfect 8th inning. However, in the 9th, two runs came across, but Tanner let Pelzer finish the game, and the hard throwing junior got out of it without any further damage.

"He (Pelzer) threw a couple good sliders and struck out a couple guys, and that's what we've been missing," Tanner said. "I hate that it wasn't a little cleaner there in the end. You've got to build on that, and when a guy is in a slump you've got to stay with it."

The Gamecocks leave for Knoxville tomorrow and will look to win in Tennessee for the first time since 2001.

NOTES:

- Cisco threw his longest outing of the year and was clocked at 89 mph.

- Pelzer was clocked at 92 in the 8th and 9th inning.

- Smoak shares the team home run lead with Darnell at 16.

- Tanner said after the game that he will use the same rotation as last weekend with Arik Hempy on Friday, Harris Honeycutt on Saturday, and Blake Cooper on Sunday.

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