Starter Michael Roth was fantastic, throwing a complete game two-hitter. This was the second elimination game of his career. In his first, against Clemson in 2010, he threw a complete game three-hitter.
Kent State scored their lone run in the top of the second inning. George Roberts singled to lead off the inning and got to second on a groundout by TJ Sutton. Sawyer Polen lacked a single to bring Roberts home.
The Gamecocks responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own. Adam Matthews and Kyle Martin each knocked one-out singles to put runners at first and second. With two outs, Grayson Greiner hit a single off Polen’s glove. The ball rolled into foul territory and Matthews motored home. Chase Vergason roped a base hit into right to bring Martin home.
The third inning saw Carolina add to their lead. Christian Walker smacked a two-out double, and LB Dantzler followed that up with a booming home run, his 10th of the year. That gave Carolina a 4-1 lead.
The bats went quiet for both teams for the remainder of the game, with USC tallying just one hit and the Flashes staying hitless. The Cocks outhit Kent State 7-2 and neither team had an error. Seven different Gamecocks had a hit, and Vergason went 1-1 to lead the team. Polen and Roberts led KSU, each going 1-for-3.
Roth obviously earned the win and improves to 9-1 on the season. In his nine innings of work, the ace threw only 106 pitches, allowed just one run on two hits, issued no walks, and struck out eight batters. He faced just 28 batters, one over the minimum, and sent down 22 in a row.
Roth also tied the NCAA record for CWS starts with seven and wins with four, and set a new record for most innings pitched: 53 2/3. By throwing all nine innings, he also kept the bullpen fresh for tonight’s game.
KSU starter Tyler Skulina took the loss and drops to 11-3 on the year. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and surrendered all four runs on six hits. He also walked four batters and K’d nine. Casey Wilson and Brian Clark combined for the other 2 1/3 innings and held the Cocks scoreless. They gave up just one hit, no walks, and each tallied a strike out.
The Flashes finish with a record of 47-20 and made history by reaching the College World Series for the first time ever. They are also a classy, classy group, as evidenced by this tweet following the game:
South Carolina is now 47-18 on the season and will face off against Arkansas (46-20) tonight in another elimination game. The Razorbacks are undefeated in Omaha, meaning USC will have to beat them twice to advance to play for the title. Jordan Montgomery will likely start on the mound for the Yardcocks, Randall Fant will get the nod for the Hogs. The first pitch is scheduled for 9 ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.