USC has backed itself into another corner. After battling out of the loser’s bracket last week, the Gamecocks will have to fight back in the Super Regional round as well after a 5-1 loss to Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon. The Cowboys are one win away from ending the Gamecocks season and securing a spot in the College World Series.
Oklahoma right-hander Thomas Hatch stymied the USC offense during seven strong innings of work. He scattered four hits and cruised the the Gamecock lineup. Carolina never really threatened. In the third inning the first two batters reached, but they failed to score. The inning ended with Gene Cone getting cut down at the plate trying to score from second on an infield single. The lone USC run came off a Dom Thompson-Williams solo homer in the 9th when the game was already stacked 5-0 in favor of the Pokes.
Braden Webb started for USC and put together an outing that was probably good enough to win on most days. He pitched into the 8th inning, gave up six hits and struck out five. Both of the runs he allowed were in the 2nd inning. The first run came off a solo homer; the second was unearned after a hit batter advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a two out single.
It was 2-0 Oklahoma State in the 9th, the game still within reach for USC. The Cowboys changed that with a 3-run homer off Taylor Widener. The Pokes #9 hitter Collin Theroux, a .161 hitter, delivered the dagger shot. It was one of his three hits in the game.
Chad Holbrook said he his team is still confident they can rally. He said his team would have signed up in February for the chance to win two straight games at Founders Park for a chance to go to Omaha. Holrbook said he is “pretty sure” he will start Clarke Schmidt on the mound.