In a classic NCAA Super Regional thriller, USC held on Saturday afternoon for a 4-3 victory over Costal Carolina in game one of the best of three series at sold out BB&T Coastal Field. A crowd of 6599 watched as the Gamecocks moved to within one win of their ninth College World Series appearance and their first since 2004.
USC post game press conference:
(Ray Tanner, Blake Cooper, Matt Price, Scott Wingo)
Playing as the visitors, USC scored three runs in the first and one in the second for a 4-0 lead. Christian Walker’s bases loaded, two out single to left scored two runs and, and a sacrafice fly by Kyle Enders plated the third run in the first. A bases loaded one out walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. pushed across the Gamecocks run in the second. But with a chance to blow the game open, Adrian Morales struck out and Walker flied out to center to end the inning. That run would turn out to be USC’s final run.
Coastal got back into the game with a two out, two run homer to left by Daniel Bowman in the second. It was his 14th homer of the season. The Chants scored another run in the 4th on an RBI single by Chance Gilmore with no on out. The Gamecocks got out of more trouble when Blake Cooper nailed Jose Iglesias at third on a fielders choice, got Bowman to ground out to third, and struck out Rich Witten to end the inning.
Coastal had two more golden oppportunities to tie or go ahead but great defense and great pitching spoiled those chances. In the 6th, the Chants loaded the bases with one out. Bowman then drilled a pitch up the middle that Cooper deflected to second baseman Scott Wingo who stepped on second and fired to first to complete the inning ending double play.
In the 8th, Cooper gave up a leadoff single to Rico Noel on his 113th pitch and then was lifted for Michael Roth. Roth walked Tommy LaStella and was lifted for Jose Mata. Mata walked Inglesias and then turned the game over to Matt Price. Price proceeded to strike out Gilmore swinging, Taylor Motter looking, and induced Bowman to hit a comebacker to the mound.
Coastal threatened again in the 9th getting runners to first and second with two outs, but Price got LaStella, the Chants leading hitter, to fly out to center to end the game.
Coastal Carolina post game press conference:
(Gary Gilmore, Daniel Bowman, Josh Conway)
Cooper earned the win for USC andn is now 12-1. Price earned his 9th save. Matt Rein was the surprise starter for Coastal and he suffered his first loss of the season against seven win. Rein injured his ankle covering first on the first hitter of the game and lasted just one inning. Six more pitchers were used by Gilmore including his #1 starter Anthony Meo. Meo threw 13 pitches and Gilmore said he can be used again Sunday or Monday.
USC will start righthander Sam Dyson Sunday afternoon. He’s 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA. Coastal will start lefthandfer Cody Wheeler. He’s 12-0 with a 3.59 ERA and has just one loss in his college career. Sundays first pitch is set for 1:00 on ESPN.
USC will be the home game for Sunday, and if necessary, Monday’s deciding game.