Belcher gets third straight shutout in Gamecocks doubleheader split

By: Staff Reporter
By: Staff Reporter

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Columbia, Mo. – South Carolina senior left-hander Nolan Belcher hurled 8.1 scoreless innings and combined with senior left-hander Tyler Webb for a five-hit shutout as the fifth ranked Gamecocks defeated Missouri 2-0 in game one of the doubleheader at Taylor Stadium. The Gamecocks win the series and improve to 17-2 and 2-0 in the SEC with Missouri dropping to 5-9 and 0-2 in league play. The second game of the doubleheader is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. ET.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the third inning with an unearned run. Max Schrock reached base with a one-out single to center. With two outs and Schrock on first base, Joey Pankake belted a single into right-center on a hit and run. On the play, Missouri center fielder Logan Pearson mishandled his fielding attempt and Schrock kept hustling and scored all the way from first base to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead.

Chase Vergason increased the lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning with a solo home run. On Graves’ 1-0 pitch, Vergason turned on a fastball that went over the wall in right field for his third homer of the season.

Belcher limited the Tigers to just five hits and struck out six batters while walking none. He has pitched 32.1 consecutive innings without allowing a walk. He is now 4-1 on the year. Webb pitched 0.2 perfect innings for his seventh save of the season and second of the series. Missouri starter Brett Graves suffered the loss and is now 0-2 on the year. He allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Columbia, Mo. – Missouri raced out to a three-run lead in the first two innings and behind a combined three pitchers, earned a 4-0 win over fifth ranked South Carolina in the final game of a three-game SEC baseball series at Taylor Stadium. The loss snaps South Carolina’s 10-game winning streak. Despite the loss in game two of the doubleheader, the Gamecocks take the first conference series of the year. South Carolina is now 17-3 and 2-1 in the SEC with Missouri 6-9 and 1-2 in the league.

Missouri reliever Keaton Steele earned the win and is 2-0 on the year. He worked six scoreless innings and allowed just three this and one walk while striking out seven batters. South Carolina starter Colby Holmes suffered the loss and is now 1-2 on the year. He allowed three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.

Missouri broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Dane Opel drew a two-out walk and scored on Dylan Kelly’s RBI double down the left field line. The lead increased to 3-0 in the second inning. Consecutive walks to Jake Ivory and Josh Lester started the frame for the Tigers. A one-out bloop single by Dillon Everett loaded the bases and Ivory then scored on an infield single off the bat of Kendal Keeton. Lester then scored Mizzou’s third run on a wild pitch by Holmes.

It remained that way until the seventh inning when the Tigers scratched across one more run. Kelly led off with a single, his third hit of the afternoon. A one-out single by Ivory and a walk to Lester loaded the bases for the Tigers. Kelly would score on a RBI fielder’s choice to Pankake off the bat of Shane Segovia.

Missouri has nine hits on the afternoon with Carolina tallying four for the contest. Kelly went 3-for-5 for Missouri with Ivory 2-for-2 and Everett 2-for-3 as well. Pankake’s hitting streak was snapped at 11 games.

“It was a tough day to play for both teams,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. Nolan (Belcher) has been incredible and pitched well (in game one). We stung the ball pretty good (in game two). I thought are at bats were okay we just couldn’t generate momentum. It’s a weekend series and we won it, so we will take the series and head home, get some rest and get ready for a big week ahead.”

South Carolina is back in action on Tuesday night traveling to Charleston, S.C. for a non-conference contest with The Citadel. First pitch at Joe Riley Park is set for 7 p.m. ET. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.” Live audio broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com.


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