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Flames Fall to No. 1 South Carolina, 10-2, at Crab House Shootout
James Darnell and Phil Disher each hit home runs to lead the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks past the Liberty Flames, 10-2, Friday afternoon, at Riley Park in the first game of the Crab House Shootout Presented by Trademark Properties.
Liberty drops to 1-3 on the season. South Carolina, ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America, remains unbeaten at 4-0.
South Carolina jumped out on top, 4-0, in the home half of the first inning with four two-out hits. After back-to-back singles by right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and first baseman Justin Smoak, designated hitter Disher walked to load the bases. Center fielder Andrew Crisp then singled up the middle to plate the contest's first two runs. Robbie Grinestaff followed with a two-run double.
In the third, the Gamecocks added a single run for a 5-0 advantage. Crisp walked to lead off the inning and came around to score on a double to the bottom of the wall in center field by shortstop Reese Havens.
Liberty cut into the South Carolina lead with two runs in the top half of the sixth. The first three batters of the frame reached to load the bases with no outs. Shortstop Patrick Gaillard (Sr., Taylors, S.C.) walked, center fielder Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) followed with a double to the right-center field gap and Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., DH, Redlands, Calif.) also received a free pass during the sequence. After Gamecock starter Harris Honeycutt struck out the next batter, right fielder Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.) doubled sharply past a diving first baseman, plating Gaillard and Young. However, with runners at second and third and one out, reliever Will Atwood came on to retire the next two Flames' batters to keep it a 5-2 game.
With its first hit since the third inning, South Carolina extended its lead to 7-2 in the seventh. With one out, Grinestaff walked and scored on a two-run home run by Darnell to left. It was the third baseman's second long ball of the season.
The next inning, the Gamecocks closed out the scoring on a three-run home run to left by Disher, the designated hitter's second of the year.
One of five Liberty pitchers, starter Michael Solbach (R-Jr., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) fell to 0-1 on the year, allowing five runs on seven hits over four innings. The Flames mound staff walked nine batters on the afternoon. Honeycutt moved to 2-0, yielding two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Liberty outfielder Young went 2-for-3 with a run scored to continue his strong start in his first season with the Flames. In his first start of the year, John also had two hits. Chisenhall paced South Carolina with three hits and two runs scored. The right fielder has a hit in each of the Gamecocks' four games this season. Catcher Trent Kline also had two hits for South Carolina.
Liberty squares off with host The Citadel tomorrow afternoon at Riley Park in its second game of the Crab House Shootout Presented by Trademark Properties. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.