COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina exacted some revenge from Friday night by bouncing Rhode Island from NCAA Tournament play with a 23-2 throttling on Sunday at Founders Park.
In front of 5,157 fans, the Gamecocks (44-16) breathed more life into their postseason run after pounding out 22 runs in the first seven innings, including a season-high eight in the fifth.
South Carolina’s big frame featured a three-run homer from Alex Destino and a triple from DC Arendas, who went 4-for-4 with three RBI and finished a double shy of the cycle.
Arendas was inserted into the lineup after starting third baseman Jonah Bride was ejected in the middle of the first inning.
Bride drove in the game’s first two runs on the Gamecocks’ third straight two-out single. With Madison Stokes at the plate, Bride stole second, then tried to score after Stokes bounced a single to Rhode Island second baseman Martin Figueroa. Bride was thrown out at home and then ejected after trying to run over Rams catcher Chase Livingston.
South Carolina tacked on another run in the second with a two-out single by Gene Cone to push the lead to 3-1. Two more were plated in the third when Arendas jacked a two-run homer to the home bullpen in right field.
Rhode Island (32-26) starting pitcher Ben Wessel (6-5) was pulled after three innings, which saw him gave up eight hits, seven of which were singles. Reliever Andrew Veiga surrendered another run in the fourth on T.J. Hopkins’ sacrifice fly to right field.
Before the floodgates opened in the fifth, Ryan Olmo cut the lead to 6-2 with a leadoff homer in the fourth.
With another elimination game scheduled against UNCW at 6 p.m. ET Sunday night, South Carolina got a much-needed seven inning outing from starting pitcher Adam Hill (7-0).