|Sunday Baseball RESULTS
|South Carolina 8, North Carolina 0
|Louisville 2, Vanderbilt 1
|Mississippi State 5 Virginia 3 (Suspended, 8th Inning)
South Carolina Forces Game Three with Dominating Win Over UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Jordan Montgomery twirled a four-hit shutout and the South Carolina offense parlayed eight hits, nine walks and five stolen bases into eight runs, as the Gamecocks cruised to an 8-0 win over North Carolina in Game 2 of the best-of-3 Super Regional Series at Boshamer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Montgomery (6-1) was spectacular all day as he tossed the first complete game of his career, walking one while fanning three. Despite three fielding errors by the Gamecock infielders, only four Tar Heel runners advanced as far as second base and none reached third. He threw 121 pitches while quieting a record attendance crowd of 4,365.
“Obviously are team played very well today for the most part,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “Jordan was incredible. To shut out a team like North Carolina, that’s an awfully hard task to do. He was terrific from pitch one. Jordan was able to pitch around a couple errors there, three errors. That’s how good he was. Usually when you make three errors against a team like North Carolina they are going to make you pay, but Jordan was just too good today.”
With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 43-19 on the season while top-seeded North Carolina dropped to 56-10.
Montgomery, a sophomore lefthander, has been outstanding in his four starts over two seasons in the NCAA Tournament for the Garnet & Black. He is 4-0 with a 0.59 ERA, surrendering just two runs on 15 hits over 30.2 innings. He has allowed just three walks while fanning 26 batters in posting wins over Clemson and Arkansas in 2012 and Liberty and North Carolina in 2013.
“The elimination game kind of gave me a little more incentive to do (well),” said Montgomery. “I didn’t want our seniors to go out that way, so I just wanted to get a win and try to (help) get them back to Omaha.”
The Gamecocks got all the runs they would need when they sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run second inning. Max Schrock led off the frame with a double down the first-base line and advanced to third on TJ Costen’s ground out. After Kyle Martin coaxed a walk on a 10-pitch at-bat, Tanner English pushed a bunt single to first, scoring Schrock with the game’s first run. After Graham Saiko’s flyout advanced Martin to third, English stole second. Chase Vergason walked to load the bases. Joey Pankake delivered a key two-out, two-run double just inside the left field line, putting the Gamecocks on top 3-0. LB Dantzler capped the uprising with a two-run single to right, extending the lead to five and sending Tar Heel starter Hobbs Johnson to an early shower. Johnson (4-1) was tagged with the loss, his first in five decisions this season.
The Gamecocks extended their lead in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. North Carolina right-hander Reilly Hovis walked Saiko and Vergason to open the inning. Both runners advanced on Pankake’s chopper in front of the plate. Dantzler was walked intentionally, then Greiner walked, forcing in Saiko with the Gamecocks’ sixth run. Taylore Cherry replaced Hovis and worked out of the bases loaded jam, getting an infield pop out and a strikeout, to avoid any further damage.
South Carolina used its speed to add a pair of runs in the fifth. English singled to deep short with one out and promptly stole second. After Saiko walked, both runners advanced on a double steal, giving English a career-high three stolen bases on the day. He entered the game with just six stolen bases on the season. Vergason hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, scoring English and sending Saiko to third. Third baseman Colin Moran was unable to handle Pankake’s bouncer for an error, scoring Saiko and putting the Gamecocks comfortably ahead 8-0.
That was more than enough for Montgomery, who was aided by a tremendous diving catch by English in center field, robbing Skye Bolt of extra bases leading off the ninth inning.
“I was just trying to do all the little things right,” said English. “Trying to help the team out any way I could. Whether it was getting a bunt down or making a catch in the outfield, (I was) just trying to not do too much and just played my role on the team.”
The rubber game of the series will be played Monday. Game time and television network will be determined Sunday evening. The Gamecocks are expected to send freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop (7-3, 2.92 ERA) to the hill. He will be opposed by Tar Heel right-hander Benton Moss (8-1, 3.78 ERA). The winner will advance to the College World Series, which will begin Saturday, June 15, in Omaha, Neb.
“The series is now 1-1,” added Holbrook. “We haven’t really accomplished anything or won anything. We are not in a position where we can feel too good about ourselves. We have nine innings to go and hopefully we can come out with some energy and play well tomorrow.”
Vanderbilt Suffers Season Ending Loss to Louisville in Super Regional
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jeff Thompson worked seven strong innings and Louisville made two early runs stand up, as the Cardinals advanced to the College World Series with a 2-1 victory over Vanderbilt Sunday in Super Regional action at Hawkins Field.
The Cardinals (51-12) knocked off the No. 2 national seed in the field of 64 after a 5-3 win in the first of the three-game series Saturday. Zak Wasserman and Sutton Whiting drove in runs for Louisville in the second inning and five Louisville hurlers limited the Commodores (54-12) to just five hits.
Vanderbilt stranded 11 runners in the loss, including six in scoring position, and left the bases loaded in the second inning as well as a pair of runners in the fifth, eighth and ninth. Louisville stranded nine runners as well, leaving the bases loaded in the third and two on in the fourth and fifth innings.
Thompson (11-1) did everything the Cardinals could have asked, working seven innings and allowing just one run on three hits. The righthander walked two, hit one batter and struck out nine among his 124 pitches.
Louisville used four hurlers to get the final six outs, including lefthander Cody Ege, who picked up his first save, striking out Mike Yastrzemski to end the game.
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede (14-1) lasted just 2.2 innings and took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out two while suffering his only loss of the season. Carson Fulmer was excellent for the second straight week in relief, working a season-best 5.1 innings and giving up just two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Commodores missed a chance to take an early lead in the second inning, stranding the bases loaded. Conrad Gregor was hit with one out and Zander Wiel walked before a sharp single to left by Vince Conde loaded the bases.
Spencer Navin fell behind 0-2 but battled back to a full count before taking a called third strike. Jack Lupo popped out to second base to end the inning with the game still scoreless.
Louisville put together four hits in the bottom of the inning to get on the board first.
Coco Johnson was hit to leadoff but was erased trying to steal second. Jeff Gardner drew a one-out walk before consecutive singles from Kyle Gibson and Wasserman, the second one an RBI grounder through the right side. With two outs Whiting singled through the middle, plating Gibson for a 2-0 Louisvill advantage.
The Cardinals nearly added to the lead in the fourth, loading the bases with walks to Wasserman and Whiting and Alex Engel was hit, but Cole Sturgeon's hard grounder to second started an inning-ending double play to keep it a 2-0 contest.
Tony Kemp singled with two outs in the fifth and Xavier Turner followed with a walk, but Yastrzemski struck out to end the inning, with Thompson battling back from a 3-1 count and Yastrzemski chasing a high fastball for the third out.
Ty Young and Johnson both singled to start the bottom of the inning for Louisville, but Fulmer worked out of the inning with three fly balls.
The Commodores finally got on the board in the sixth when Wiel lifted a high drive down the leftfield line that just stayed fair, his fifth homer of the season, cutting the deficit in half.
In the seventh Kemp reached on a two-out error and stole second, his 34th stolen base of the season, but Thompson battled back from a 2-0 count and got Turner to pop out to end the threat.
Vanderbilt stranded two more in the eighth when Harrell was hit and Wiel drew a two-out walk, but Conde grounded out to third on a 2-0 pitch against UL reliever Kyle Funkhouser, keeping the Cardinals in the lead, 2-1.
In the ninth John Norwood, who made a great diving catch in leftcenter in the bottom of the eighth, singled to center with one out against Louisville closer Nick Burdi. Ege came on to get a line out from Kemp, but Turner singled to right with two outs, putting runners on the corners. Yastrzemski's strikeout came on a 2-2 pitch, sending the Cardinals to Omaha.
Mississippi State and Virginia to Finish Game Two on Monday Afternoon Due to Weather
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Mother Nature was the big winner Sunday night at the Charlottesville Super Regional.
With Mississippi State leading Virginia 5-3, the second contest of the best-of-three series was suspended by heavy rain at 10:10 p.m. The teams had waited for better than an hour but no clearing took place.
The Bulldogs were the home team in the contest and were just beginning to bat in the home half of the seventh inning. The contest will be resumed at 3 p.m. CT Monday and televised by either ESPN2 or ESPNU. If Virginia wins the game and forces a third and decisive game, it would be played 55 minutes after the completion of the second contest.
MSU built a 5-1 lead thanks to a single score in the second inning and two runs in both the third and fourth innings. A Wes Rea two-run home run was the big blow in the third inning. It was the first home run of the postseason for the Bulldogs.
Trevor Fitts started on the mound for the Bulldogs and was lifted in the third inning. Chad Girodo had thrown 4.2 innings of relief when the rains hit. Girodo allowed five hits and two earned runs, with 10 strikeouts.