Bangs leads USC in 8-4 Game 1 win

A little shakeup in the batting order was all Carolina needed to get things going early against the Brown Bears. DH Parker Bangs got his second start of the year, and made the most of it, contributing 4 RBI's including a 3-run blast in the 3rd that opened the game up for USC.

Blake Cooper got the start on the mound for the Gamecocks and performed very well, throwing 6 innings allowing just 2 hits and 2 earned runs. Despite 4 walks, the senior right hander struck out 6 Bears.

Although he was sharp in the 1st, Brown starter Mark Gormley was shaky in the 2nd inning, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits in the inning. Kyle Enders and Nick Ebert got things started with back to back singles, before Adam Matthews was able to continue his hot hitting with a double to drive them in. Parker Bangs and Adrian Morales both contributed RBI singles as well.

USC's lead was cut in half in the top of the 3rd, as Brown added 2 runs despite only 1 hit. Cooper had a consecutive hit by pitch and a walk, giving the Bears two runners with just 1 out. An RBI single from Graham Tyler and sacrifice fly by Matt Colantonio accounted for Brown's runs, and made it 4-2 through 2.5 innings.

It didn't take Bangs long to show he deserved a start at DH in this game. After his RBI single in the 2nd, Bangs blasted a 3-run homer with 2 outs in the 3rd to increase the USC lead to 7-2. USC had been looking for an extra spark on offense after the struggles of 3rd baseman Christian Walker and veteran Nick Ebert.

Ebert himself was part of the good offensive effort in this game, going 2-3 and scoring 2 runs to go along with 2 walks.

Carolina's 8 runs through 4 innings proved to be the difference, as they were shut down over the final 4 innings by Brown relievers Brad Kottman and John Murphy. Kottman was big for the Bears, as he allowed them to hang in the game with 4.1 innings of relief, allowing just 2 hits and no runs.

Brown was able to add 2 runs in the 3rd and 2 runs in the 8th to round out their scoring. Although the top of their order was essentially shut down in the game, the 8th and 9th hitters in their lineup were able to break through, scoring all 4 of their runs.

Injured Carolina shortstop Bobby Haney was able to come into the game, playing defense in the top half of the 8th inning. However, he made a key error, which combined with two Brown hits allowed them to cut into the Carolina lead.

Ethan Carter pitched 2 innings of relief for Carolina, giving up just 1 earned run. Matt Price threw a perfect 9th for USC, striking out two to end the game.

The next game will begin at 4:10, and Sam Dyson will get the start on the mound for the Gamecocks. He will be opposed by Brown pitcher Will Weidig.

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