In their first meeting since the 1981 College World Series, the South Carolina Gamecocks used an eight run second inning to post an 11-4 victory over the, No. 1 National Seed, Arizona State Sun Devils in an elimination game on Tuesday, June 22 in the seventh game of the 2010 College World Series.
South Carolina opened the scoring and took control of the game in the bottom of the second inning. The Gamecocks put the first two runners on, as Adrian Morales and Kyle Enders produced back-to-back singles. After Bobby Haney struck out on a foul bunt attempt with two strikes, ninth-place batter Scott Wingo delivered a two-run double down the left field line, giving South Carolina a 2-0 lead. Evan Marzilli then singled to left, and Whit Merrifield followed with a RBI single over the head of Sun Devil first baseman Riccio Torrez, scoring Wingo to increase the advantage to 3-0.
The gap quickly widened to 6-0, as Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked a three-run homer over the left-center field wall, his 13th of the season and second of the CWS. The runs continued in the bottom of the second, as Brady Thomas singled and Adrian Morales hit a two-run blast off of the left field foul pole, increasing the Gamecocks advantage to 8-0. The eight runs in the inning were the second most of the season by South Carolina, they scored nine runs in the bottom of the seventh in an 11-6 victory over Furman on May 18.
The lead grew to 10-0 in the bottom of the third, as after loading the bases with nobody out, Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch, and Christian Walker walked, each driving in a run for South Carolina.
Arizona State scored their first run of the contest in the top of the fifth, as Deven Marrero doubled to lead off the inning and was driven home on a RBI single by Austin Barnes, making the score 10-1. Drew Maggi continued the rally with a RBI single through the left side, pulling the Sun Devils to within eight runs at 10-2.
The Sun Devils continued their comeback in the top of the eighth, plating two runs to pull to within 10-4. Kole Calhoun led off the inning with a walk, with one out Johnny Ruettiger singled to give ASU runners on first and third. Marrero drove in the first run of the inning with a RBI single through the right side, and pinch hitter Matt Newman followed with a run scoring single of his own, making the score 10-4. Moments later, Raoul Torrez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with still one out. Gamecock reliever Matt Price, however, was able to strike out both Barnes and Maggi to end the inning.
The Gamecocks got a run back immediately in the bottom of the eighth, as Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff solo shot to left, his 13th of the season, to move the lead to final score of 11-4.
USC post game press conference
Arizona State post game press conference
South Carolina, who improved to 12-8 all-time in elimination games, will play either Oklahoma or Clemson in another elimination matchup on Thursday at 6 p.m. CDT. They were led offensively by Bradley Jr., who went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, while extending his hitting streak to 18 games. Starter Sam Dyson improved to 6-5 on the season, allowing four runs on eight hits in 7.1 innings.
Arizona State, who is now 31-17 all-time in CWS elimination games, finishes the 2010 season 52-10. The back-to-back losses suffered at the CWS marked their first back-to-back losses of the season. They were led offensively by Marrero, who collected three hits while adding a RBI and a run scored. Riccio Torrez went 0-for-3 to end his hitting streak at 26 games.