USC won for the fifth time against a team ranked #1 in the country Tuesday night, and the Gamecocks made it look easy in a 7-1 pasting of Virginia. The victory moves the Gamecocks into the drivers seat in Bracket Two. They will be off until Friday night and will need just one win over Virginia or California to reach the championship series for the second year in a row. The Gamecocks have won 13 straight NCAA Tournament games matching the all time record.
The Gamecocks scored three runs with two outs in the top of the first as the usually solid Virginia defense made two crucial errors. Christian Walker reached on an error by third baseman Steven Proscia who failed to cleanly handle a chopper right at him. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Walker with a sharp double to right center. It was his first RBI since April 19th. Adrian Morales singled Bradley home and went all the way to third on a throwing error by first baseman Jared King. Brady Thomas then drove him in with a double.
The Gamecocks made it 4-0 in the third again scoring with two outs. Morales singled, went third on a single by Thomas and scored on a single by Peter Mooney.
Jake Williams led off the Gamecock fourth with his sixth triple of the season. Evan Marzilli was up next and he made it a 5-0 game with a double to left center. He later scored on a double by Christian Walker.
Virginia answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth. And the Cavaliers threatened in the fifth. They loaded the bases with one out against starter Colby Holmes. John Taylor relieved Holmes and and got a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Walker got his second RBI of the night with a single in the 8th to close out the scoring. Holmes was solid in his 4.1 innings of work allowing just four hits and one run. He struck out seven and walked one. Taylor also pitched 4.1 innings and gave up just one hit. He earned the win to improve to 7-1 and he lowered his ERA to 1.17. Matt Price got the final out in the ninth. Will Roberts took the loss to fall to 11-2.
(Ray Tanner, John Taylor, Colby Holmes, Jackie Bradley Jr, Brady Thomas)
(Brian O’Connor, Will Roberts, Steven Proscia)
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 68 minutes. It was a rainy, overcast day in Omaha but all the games were played. Florida finished up its rain delayed game from Monday night against Vanderbilt and took a 3-1 victory. And California eliminated Texas A&M from the CWS with a 7-3 win.
Wednesday, Vanderbilt meets North Carolina at 7:00 PM in an elimination game. The winner will play Florida Friday afternoon at 2:00 with Florida needing just one win to advance. Thursday, California and Virginia will play at 7:00 PM in an elimination game. The winner takes on USC Friday night at 7:00. The if necessary would be played on Saturday and Sunday. The best two out of three championship series is scheduled to begin Monday night.