COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina pounded out 16 hits and used a complete game effort by Blake Cooper on the mound to defeat Vanderbilt, 11-3, Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.
The Gamecocks (30-18, 12-12 SEC) swept the season series for the first time since the 2003 season. It was the fourth straight series that has ended in a sweep for the Commodores (27-20, 10-13 SEC). VU had sweeps of Arkansas (two games) and Mississippi State, while getting swept by Alabama and South Carolina.
Cooper (6-4) scattered 12 hits over nine innings, allowing three runs while striking out six with no walks in the winning effort.
VU got on the board in the first when Liddle, making his first career start in the leadoff spot, singled to left, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Riley Reynolds and scored on Curt Casali’s RBI single.
The Gamecocks took a 3-1 lead in the third when Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a RBI double to left-center and Nick Ebert belted a two-run homer to left, his 18th of the year.
The homer ended the day for Caleb Cotham (5-5) who gave up three runs on five hits in two innings of work with a walk and no strikeouts.
DeAngelo Mack’s RBI double in the fourth extended the lead to 4-1.
Whit Merrifield’s RBI single and Mack’s two-run homer in the sixth pushed the lead to 7-1. The Gamecocks added four more in the seventh to make it 11-1. Parker Bangs had the key hit, a three-run blast to right to push the lead to double-digits.
VU plated two runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 11-3. Curt Casali singled with two outs and moved to third on a double by Aaron Westlake. Andrew Giobbi then singled to center to score both runners.
The Commodores are next scheduled to play at Georgia next weekend. There is a possibility of adding a midweek game on Tuesday and www.vucommodores.com will have the announcement if it happens.