Battle? Check. Win anyway? Check. Fear the fish? Check. Return to Omaha? Check.
After rain forced a postponement until this afternoon, the Gamecocks found some offense and beat Oklahoma 5-1 to win the Super Regional and advance to the College World Series.
The first five and a half innings, played Sunday night, were relatively uninteresting. Each team had a chance to get on the board in the third, but neither could capitalize.
Both starters, Colby Holmes for USC and Jonathan Gray for OU, were solid on the mound Sunday night. Holmes allowed one hit in five innings of work, Gray gave up three in six innings. The game resumed this afternoon in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Sooners at the plate.
Tyler Webb started on the mound and got a lead off strike out from Tanner Toal before getting into a bit of a jam. Caleb Bushyhead appeared to hit into a routine groundout, but Joey Pankake and Christian Walker had difficulty making the play. Erik Ross followed that with a K and Bushyhead stole second, giving the Sooners a runner in scoring position with two outs.
Max White and Matt Oberste both walked, loading the bases with two down. Cody Reine flied out to end the inning, though he made Webb work for it, and fouled off five straight pitches as part of a 10-pitch at-bat.
USC broke the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh. DH Connor Bright led off with a double and Tanner English reached on a beautiful two-strike bunt. TJ Costen, who was pinch running for Bright, came home when the ball sailed past Okalhaoma’s third baseman, and English made it to second. That made the score 1-0 in favor of the Cocks, and Chase Vergason came up to sac bunt English over to third. Pankake would later walk and English came home on a wild pitch to give Carolina a 2-0 lead.