|MONDAY NCAA Baseball RESULTS
|South Carolina 6, Liberty 4
|Vanderbilt 7, Georgia Tech 1
|Mississippi State 6, Central Arkansas 1
Gamecocks Hold Off Liberty, 6-4, to Advance to Super Regionals
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina defeated Liberty 6-4 on Monday afternoon to claim the NCAA Columbia Regional title at Carolina Stadium, securing the program’s fourth straight trip to the Super Regionals.
It will be the Gamecocks’ (42-18) 11th trip to the Super Regionals in the last 14 years, which ranks second in the nation behind Florida State during that span. The win is South Carolina’s 27th-straight postseason win at home, including a 16-0 mark at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina tallied nine hits in the contest, including a 2-for-4 effort from senior LB Dantzler and sophomore Tanner English. Dantzler also drove in a game-high two runs.
Senior right-hander Colby Holmes (5-2) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win, surrendering two hits and striking out one batter. The win is Holmes’ first since April 7 at Tennessee. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb earned his 17th save of the season after allowing one run and two hits and fanning three to close out the final 1 1/3 innings.
Liberty (36-29) collected 12 hits, with senior Justin Sizemore going 3-for-5 to lead the way. Senior Bryan Aanderud, sophomore Alex Close and junior Nick Paxton added two hits apiece in the loss.
Flames starting hurler Ashton Perritt (3-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs and six hits, walking four and striking out two in four innings on the mound.
The Gamecocks got their offense going early as they pushed across a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Chase Vergason and sophomore Joey Pankake drew back-to-back one-out walks to get things started. Dantzler followed with a single through the right side to drive home Vergason to give Carolina the lead.
Carolina pushed its lead to 4-0 with a three-run outburst in the third. English smashed a ground-rule double to left center to lead off the inning. Three batters later, Pankake drove English home with a single to left field. Dantzler followed with a double to the gap in right center to score Pankake and later scored a run on a single to right field by sophomore Kyle Martin.
Liberty cut the Gamecocks’ lead in half in the fourth. After Aanderud delivered a one-out single and Sizemore followed with a double to left, Paxton roped a single through the right side to drive in Aanderud. Sizemore then scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Dalton Britt to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
The Gamecocks continued their hot hitting in the home half of the fifth as they tacked on two more runs. Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner ripped a single to right field to lead things off. Following a sacrifice bunt by Martin that moved Greiner to second, junior Graham Saiko singled up the middle to drive Greiner home. Two batters later, English perfectly laid down a bunt single toward first base to score Saiko, giving Carolina a 6-2 cushion.
The Flames made one last charge at a comeback, scoring a run in the eighth on a double by pinch hitter Danny Grauer and a run in the ninth on a RBI groundout by Wimmer. However, with runners on the corners and two outs in the ninth, Webb put an end to the comeback bid by striking out Sizemore to secure the win.
The Gamecocks will play the winner of tonight’s Chapel Hill Regional final between North Carolina and Florida Atlantic in the Super Regionals. If North Carolina wins, the Tar Heels will host South Carolina. With a Florida Atlantic win, the Gamecocks would host the Super Regional later this week at Carolina Stadium. The NCAA will announce dates, times, sites and television coverage for the Super Regionals late Monday night.
Vanderbilt Charges Past Georgia Tech
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt defeated Georgia Tech, 7-1, Monday in a winner-take-all battle for the Nashville Regional Championship at Hawkins Field to advance to the Super Regionals.
One night after being shutout, Vanderbilt's offense returned to form by scoring seven runs on 13 hits. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt's pitching combination of Philip Pfeifer and Brian Miller held Georgia Tech to just one run, which was unearned, on four hits.
Vanderbilt (54-10) plated runs in each of the first two innings against Georgia Tech starter Buck Farmer, who had pitched Saturday in a rain-shortened game. Vanderbilt then broke the game open with three runs in the seventh inning. Georgia Tech's (37-27) only run came on a fielding error in the top of the seventh inning.
Conrad Gregor finished third three hits and an RBI, while Vince Conde and Spencer Navin each had two hits. Xavier Turner had just one hit, but three RBIs.
Pfeifer earned the win, tossing five innings and allowing just four hits.
MSU BASEBALL WINS STARKVILLE REGIONAL
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The ride continues.
Ninth-ranked Mississippi State returns to Super Regional play for the second time in three seasons as the Bulldogs knocked off Central Arkansas 6-1 to capture the Starkville Regional championship Monday night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU (46-18) will face No.6 national seed Virginia (50-10) in the Charlottesvile Super Regional. This best-of-three series will begin later this week. An official start time for the series, game times and television assignments were expected to be issued by the NCAA late Monday.
MSU wins a home regional for the first time since 2000. The Bulldogs completed their third straight regional appearance with a trip to the Super Regional round for the first time since 2011. Two victories at Virginia would send MSU to the College World Series for the first time since 2007.
“It goes without saying, I’m really proud of our club and how they came out and played today after the disappointment of last night,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “The two guys that pitched for us tonight said they were going to force it and find a way to win it.”
MSU dropped the first championship game to Central Arkansas 6-2 Sunday night. Less than 24 hours later, the Maroon and White were back at it winning a home regional for the sixth time ever before a crowd of 8,662.
“You saw what was there,” MSU junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe said. “The fans here are 100 percent supportive of us and I feel like we have one of the best fan bases in the college baseball. Whether we win or lose, they’re going to be backing us. How the fans reacted and supported us tonight after we won the regional, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had that many fans in Virginia.”
In the title clincher, the Bulldogs got a masterful pitching performance from starter Ben Bracewell and reliever Chad Girodo. In his second start of the season, Bracewell worked 2.1 innings, allowing one hit. Girodo (7-1) took it from there with a career-best 6.2 innings of work, with five hits and allowed and a career-best 12 strikeouts.
“It’s a great feeling, but I really wanted to do it for my teammates because we’ve had such a great season,” Girodo said. “We have a special thing going on.”
MSU took the lead for good with two scores in the first inning. The Bulldogs expanded the lead with a single score in the second inning, two scores in the fourth inning and another score in the sixth inning.
UCA (42-22) broke up the shutout with a two-out RBI-single from Forrestt Allday in the ninth inning.
“I really thought Ben really set the tone for us and Chad was just unbelievable,” Cohen said. “We knew (Girodo) was capable but we haven’t really extended him like this really in his career.”
Tournament Most Outstanding player Alex Detz was again a catalyst for the MSU offense. In the tournament, Detz was 8-of-13 and reached base 12 times in 17 appearances. In the title clincher, Detz had two of the Bulldogs’ 11 hits.
Back-to-back hits by Detz and Renfroe started things in the first inning. A groundball out scored one run and the first of three UCA errors scored the other.
An RBI-groundout by Adam Frazier expanded the lead to 3-0.
A double by Henderson started things in the MSU fourth inning. Frazier and Renfroe had run-producing hits. An RBI-single by Renfroe capped the scoring in the sixth inning.
Renfroe had a team-best three hits, while Frazier and Demarcus Henderson joined Detz as multi-hitters.
Central Arkansas finished with six hits, including two hits by Garrett Brown. Starting pitcher Bryce Biggerstaff (6-5) was lifted in the fourth inning and took the loss.