The Walker-Jones Home Run Show Game 2

Game 2 against Duquesne started out much like game 1 – Christian Walker doubled in two runs in the first and then homered in the third, immediately followed by a home run by Jeffery Jones, and the Gamecocks cruised to a comfortable 8-0 lead. After scoring a run in the 6th, the Dukes tried to make it interesting in the 7th with two runs on two hits, but the Gamecocks answered back. Final 13-3, USC.

Ray Tanner isn't running out of superlatives for Christian Walker and Jeffery Jones – yet. After the two led his South Carolina team to another runaway win over the Duquesne Dukes, the coach was prepared to give praise where it was due. "Those guys have put together some at-bats," he said. "From an offensive standpoint, it's a challenge to continually put together good at-bats. You have to admire people who can do that. It's an up-and-game with a lot of failure. But for the first two days both those guys have had pretty good approaches. They've helped us win."

In only his second collegiate game, Walker smacked his second homer of the season and drove in five runs to push his "career" total to six, going 4-for-5 on the day. "I feel good right now. I'm seeing the ball well," Walker said. "I'm finding the barrel and everything is coming together." Jones stepped up to bat immediately after Walker's homer, and said, "Hey, I can do that too. (Again.)" Jones finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs.

Another team newcomer also continued a strong opening weekend debut, as Robert Beary also went 3-for-4. Whit Merrifield represented the team veterans as he scored three runs in the victory, adding to the 15-6 edge in hits the Gamecocks held on the afternoon.

Though he only threw 48 pitches, 30 were for strikes, and Sam Dyson earned his 18th career win because USC announced the pitch limit before the game as part of a pre-determined split. He allowed only one Duquesne base runner, on a first-inning walk. The junior right-hander held the Dukes hitless while striking out six in his limited appearance. He was replaced by senior Jay Brown. "I was very encouraged by Sam Dyson's start today," Tanner said. "I thought he was very productive. He had all his pitches going. His fastball was good. He threw some good sliders and changeups."

Later, when left-hand pitcher Jimmy Revan gave up two runs in the 7th and allowed Duquesne to pull within 8-3, Veteran Michael Roth came in and shut them down. Tanner had praise for the games of both Revan and Roth, saying Revan was just barely outside on a number of pitches, but he liked what he saw out of sophomore juco transfer. "We got some runs early and were able to use some different pitchers and get some guys into the game.

Tanner said he was pleased how his team responded after Duquesne looked to mount a comeback, scoring a run in the sixth inning along with two more in the seventh inning. Their lead reduced to 8-3, South Carolina struck back quickly in the bottom of the seventh scoring five runs to gain a 10-run cushion. Bobby Haney tallied an RBI double, Walker collected a two-run single and Jones had a RBI sacrifice fly. One run would score off a wild pitch.

The Gamecocks improve to 2-0 on the year while Duquesne falls to 0-2 for the season. The two teams close out the series on Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The game will be the final game ever between the two teams, as Duquesne announced in January they will be killing their baseball program and three other men's sports at the end of their seasons as part of a budgetary move. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 21-0.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories