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CWS Game 3 Pre-Game Notes

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Senior Blake Cooper is expected to start for the Gamecocks tonight. In 18 starts this year, Cooper is 12-2 with a 2.92 ERA. He has struck out 110 batters in 123.1 innings. Opponents are batting .231 against him. He will be pitching on short rest (three days) for the first time this season. Cooper started against the Sooners on Sunday, throwing 67 pitches in five innings. He allowed three earned runs and six hits while striking out five batters.

Oklahoma will counter with Zach Neal on the mound tonight. In 17 starts this season, Neal is 8-3 with a 4.65 ERA. He has struck out 88 batters in 98.2 innings. Opponents are batting .280 against him. Neal's last start was in Game 2 of the Charlottesville Super Regional against Virginia. He went three innings, allowing five hits and four earned runs and struck out two batters.

South Carolina faces elimination tonight for the second time this week as a loss to the Sooners would end the Gamecocks' stay in Omaha. Under head coach Ray Tanner, the Gamecocks are 9-3 when facing elimination at the College World Series. Carolina won four straight in 2002 after losing the series opener.

A win tonight would give South Carolina its 50th win of the season. It would be just the fifth time in program history the Gamecocks have won 50 or more games. Carolina won 53 games in 2004, 57 games in 2002, 56 in 2000 and 51 in 1975.

In two games at the College World Series, the Gamecocks are hitting .329 as a team (23-for-70) with 14 runs and five HR. Carolina has drawn nine walks and struck out 14 times.  The Gamecocks have left 17 men on base in two games.

In two games at the College World Series, the Sooner are hitting .234 as a team (15-for-64) with eight runs and four HR. Oklahoma has drawn six walks and struck out 17 times.  The Sooners have left 15 men on base this week.


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