Two SEC teams battled in game fourteen on Friday night with the winner advancing to CWS Championship Series against Arizona. South Carolina and Arkansas have met two other times already in this College World Series with the teams splitting so far. This deciding third game between the two would be the most important.
Game Fourteen: #8 South Carolina vs Arkansas (Bracket Two – Elimination Game)
W: M. Price
L: C. Suggs
The Gamecocks had all the momentum coming into Friday night’s game as they just defeated Arkansas 2-0 on Thursday. This game would be Carolina’s third game in just two days as they played a day-night doubleheader on Thursday.
The Razorbacks would be the first to score as third baseman Matt Reynolds singled home leadoff man Tim Carver in the first inning. South Carolina’s starter Colby Holmes would only go two innings and left before Reynolds brought another run in via sacrifice fly. It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth until the Gamecocks got on the board. Shortstop Joey Pankake singled to center which scored Tanner English and advanced Chase Veragson to second. Veragson would score two batters later when Razorbacks starter D.J Baxendale walked in a run, tying up the game at two. Arkansas coach Dan van Horn would pull Baxendale from the game after the walk.
Arkansas pitcher, Colby Suggs, made the same mistake Baxendale made in the fifth, walking home what would be the game-winning run. Gamecocks’ ptichers, Tyler Webb and Matt Price would shut out the Razorbacks offense for the remainder of the game, combining for seven shutout innings in relief. Price pitched the seventh, eighth and ninth innings for his CWS-record fifth career win in Omaha.
“I knew it was going to be tight and it didn’t surprise me it ended up being a one-run game, and we played so many,” Van Horn said. ”Hats off to the pitchers. I thought they did a great job. I thought they filled up the zone all night long.”
South Carolina is returning to their third-straight CWS Championship Series. The Gamecocks are only the second team ever to do so as Southern California won five straight from 1970-1974. Surprisingly, South Carolina returned just three everyday players to its lineup this season and yet still made it back to the Championship Series. Carolina has swept the Championship Series the past two seasons and will try to become the fourth straight SEC school to win the College World Series.
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