Coming out of the bullpen last weekend, Brett Kerry went six strong innings and helped push South Carolina baseball to a crucial win over Mississippi State.
The performance was enough to convince the Gamecock coaching staff to give the junior his first start in 15 months on Saturday against Kentucky — and Kerry rewarded their faith with a gem, guiding USC to a 9-0 victory and series win and throwing the program’s first complete game shutout since 2014.
Over the course of nine nearly perfect innings, Kerry allowed just four hits, striking out 10 and walking none. He did it with ruthless efficiency, throwing just 94 pitches, 67 for strikes. He struck out the side twice and never threw more than 14 pitches in an inning.
And Kerry’s dominant performance was well-supported by the Gamecock lineup, which was coming off a 12-run outburst in the series opener. For the first half of the game, the offense was relatively quiet, scratching two runs across off RBI groundouts from juniors Josiah Sightler and David Mendham, and needing lots of help from Kentucky starter Sean Harney, who walked three and hit four Gamecock batters in just 4 2/3 innings.
In the sixth inning, though, Andrew Eyster blew the game wide open after the bases were loaded on two singles and a walk, launching an opposite-field home run to right for his second grand slam of the year. Eyster drove in another run in the eighth, reaching on an error, and sophomore Braylen Wimmer slugged his second home run of the weekend in the ninth to cap the outburst.
NEXT USC BASEBALL GAME
Who: No. 25 South Carolina vs. Kentucky
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Kentucky Proud Park, Lexington, Kentucky
Watch: Streaming online on SEC Network Plus via WatchESPN