South Carolina junior pitcher Colby Holmes pitched eight scoreless innings on Friday, as the Gamecocks shut out Manhattan, 7-0, in the second game of the 2012 NCAA Columbia Regional at Carolina Stadium.
Holmes (7-1) surrendered only a single in the eighth inning and fanned a career-high nine batters in eight innings of work to earn the win. He also did not have a walk and hit one batter. The game went into a lightning delay in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, preventing Holmes from completing the game.
With the victory, the Gamecocks improve to 41-17 on the season and advance to face rival Clemson on Saturday at 4 p.m. South Carolina has now won a NCAA-record 17 straight postseason games and is 9-0 all-time at Carolina Stadium in the postseason. The Gamecocks have also won 20 consecutive postseason games at home.
Manhattan drops to 33-26 on the year and will take on Coastal Carolina in an elimination game on Saturday at noon.
Jaspers starting hurler Taylor Sewitt (11-2), who had a no-hitter going through five innings, gave the Manhattan six solid innings of work before being pulled to begin the seventh. He allowed four runs and four hits and struck out three in the loss.
The Gamecocks collected seven hits on the night. Senior right fielder Adam Matthews went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the way, while junior Christian Walker delivered a solo home run and freshman Tanner English contributed a two-run triple.
The pitchers controlled the first five innings, as the teams combined to have just five base runners during that stretch on four walks and a hit batter.
The Gamecocks broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth with a four-run outburst. Freshman Joey Pankake ripped a leadoff double to the gap in left center to break up Sewitt’s no-hitter. After Evan Marzilli singled and Walker drew a walk to load the bases with no outs, Matthews roped a single to left to drive in Pankake and Marzilli to give South Carolina a 2-0 advantage, ending Sewitt’s scoreless streak at 39 1/3 innings. English then smashed his team-high fourth triple of the season to right field to clear the bases and push the Gamecocks’ lead to 4-0.
Holmes continued to dominate the game into the eighth inning as he retired 18 straight batters from the last out of the second inning until two outs in the eighth, when Joe Rock broke up the no-hitter with a single to left field. However, Holmes bounced back to strike out the next batter to end the inning.
South Carolina added three insurance runs in eighth, including a leadoff solo home run just inside the foul pole in left by Walker, to build a 7-0 cushion.
Gamecock junior reliever Patrick Sullivan then entered in the ninth and worked a scoreless inning, including two strikeouts, to end the game.
AUDIO: USC presser (Ray Tanner, Colby Holmes, Christian Walker, Adam Matthews) [18:45]
AUDIO: Manhattan postgame presser [5:36]