Gamecocks force Game 3 in super regional

  • Gamecocks force Game 3 in super regional

Gamecocks force Game 3 in super regional

Backed up against the wall, SC responded with one of the biggest offensive outputs of the season to hold off elimination and force a decisive game three Monday against Arkansas.

Carson Shaddy and Casey Martin each had two hits Sunday afternoon, but SC topped Arkansas with an 8-5 victory in game two of the NCAA Fayetteville Super Regional at Baum Stadium.

It all comes down to one final game - with a win, SC baseball will advance to its 12th College World Series.

"I thought that was a no-brainer", Kingston said. If he doesn't, we'll go to the next guy.

Shortstop LT Tolbert, one of the undisputed veteran leaders and a big part of the big heart this roster has shown since April, came up with the big blow. He made it just 4⅓ innings, giving up 6 hits and inexplicably walking 4.

"I kind of blacked out whenever I was running the bases and don't remember what happened", said Tolbert, who whacked a breaking pitch out. "This is what I've been waiting my whole life for, to play in this moment, it's why I came to SC". Arkansas is now 34-4 at home with two of those losses coming to the Gamecocks.

SC has done better than most opposing teams at Baum Stadium this season. "We were getting recruited whenever they won back to back national championships".

The Gamecocks have not announced a starter, but are expected to choose between freshman right-handers Logan Chapman (3-3, 5.64 ERA) and Carmen Mlodzinski (3-5, 4.84 ERA).

The Gamecocks received just enough positive output from starter Cody Morris in extending their season at least one more day.

Again, the tie didn't last long, as Shaddy walked to open the bottom of the sixth, advanced on a Gates ground ball and a wild pitch, and came home on Biggers' single to center. USC is also 2-4 against Arkansas this season. Morris gave up only one free pass and also hit a batter, but managed to not create his own problems over 89 pitches.

That tied the game for two more batters. The redshirt senior is hitting.467 (7-for-15) with 11 RBI through Arkansas' first five games of the NCAA Tournament. Justin Row went 2 for 3 with two walks and two RBIs.

Individually, Kjerstad snapped a three-way tie for Arkansas' freshman home run mark that he previously shared with Zack Cox (2009) and teammate Casey Martin. "It was out of the strike zone and just like that, they scored four runs".

Carson Shaddy ended Arkansas' two-game homerless drought with a two-run shot in the sixth inning and Heston Kjerstad added a solo shot in the seventh.

In his last two outings against the Gamecocks, which includes the SEC Tournament, Murphy has allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits and six walks in 10 innings. But headed to the ninth inning, Arkansas was still down 3 runs. Bonnin recorded four outs, but walked 2 and gave up a hit and run. Sawyer Bridges went the remaining 3 1/3 innings to close it out.

Now a team that was 20-17 following a loss to Presbyterian is not only "back from the dead" as Kingston earlier described it, but a win away from capping an unbelievable turnaround in getting to Omaha.

"I'd say pretty much everybody that thinks they can get somebody out, or we feel like they can get somebody out, we'd give them an opportunity to throw if we needed them", Van Horn said.