Day 2 of the College World Series in Omaha started much like the way Day 1 started: with a Cinderella team struggling to stay with the big conference team.
Kent State was Saturday’s Cinderella, facing Arkansas and ace DJ Baxendale (who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the MLB draft in the beginning of the month). Baxendale cruised through the Golden Flashes lineup before giving up a single in the 5th inning.
Kent State starter David Starn struggled with his command from the very beginning and the only thing that kept him and his team in the game was the three double plays turned while he was in the game.
Arkansas had a run in and the bases loaded before Starn induced a DP to end the first inning. Jake Wise homered with two outs in the second inning. In the 3rd inning after a leadoff single, Starn induced another DP. In the 5th inning with a run in, Starn induced another inning-ending DP.
Jimmy Rider homered off Baxendale in the 6th inning to get Kent State on the board and cut the deficit to 3-1.
However Arkansas went back to work against Starn, scoring two runs in the bottom of the 6th inning on a Matt Vinson two-run double.
Baxendale was done with two on base in the 7th inning. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk over 6.1 innings. He struck out five. Brandon Moore came in and escaped the jam and finished out the game. He allowed just one hit over 2.2 innings.
Meanwhile, Starn allowed five runs on six hits and six walks over 5.2 innings. He struck out four.
Florida starter Brian Johnson‘s command was off from the beginning and South Carolina had men on base early and often but couldn’t get a run across.
Meanwhile, the Gators got to Gamecocks starter Michael Roth in the 3rd inning on a Preston Tucker two-run double.
Then the 5th inning happened. South Carolina scored five runs in the inning, capped by an Erik Payne bases clearing triple. The Gamecocks collected five hits in the inning, four hits and a walk before Florida recorded an out.
Florida’s defense fell apart in the 9th inning, as South Carolina tacked on two more runs to increase their lead and win 7-3.
Roth picked up another CWS victory, as he allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks over 6.1 innings. Matt Price, who was in his tenth appearance in Omaha, allowed two hits over two innings to pick up the save. He struck out three.
Florida’s 3 through 6 hitters were a combined 0-for-13 with an RBI.
The Gamecocks have won 22 straight NCAA Tournament games and 12 straight CWS games. They move to the winner’s bracket to face another SEC team, Arkansas, on Monday night at 9pm ET on ESPN2.
For more on the Gamecocks win, check out Cocky Country (though Katie is on vacation so she may not be able to update).
*Both Cinderella teams, Stony Brook and Kent State, will be facing elimination in their next games in Omaha. Stony Brook will face off against the ACC’s Florida State on Sunday at 5pm ET on ESPN2. Kent State will face Florida on Monday at 5pm ET on ESPN2.