Columbia, S.C. - Phil Disher erased a three-run fourth inning deficit with a grand slam and Curtis Johnson pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief to record his first win of the season as top-seed South Carolina downed third-seed Charlotte, 11-6, to claim the 2007 NCAA Columbia Regional championship before 4,605 at Sarge Frye Field on Monday. Both teams weathered a 2-hour, 56-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third inning.
South Carolina improved to 45-18 overall and will play at North Carolina in a best-of-three super regional next weekend. Charlotte ends its seasons with a 49-12 record. The Gamecocks, who went 3-0, claimed their seventh regional title since the super regional format debuted in 1999.
Trailing 5-2 with two-outs in the fourth, Disher's grand slam to center off 49er lefty Luke Stahl was his 15th homer of the season and gave USC the lead for good at 6-5.
UNCC had scored four times in the fourth inning to take a 5-2 lead. Alex Burt opened the inning with a double and scored to tie the game at 2-all when Cory Lane followed with a triple to right center.
Chris Lane drove in Cory Lane with a bunt single to give the 49ers a 3-2 lead. After Aaron Bray reached on a bunt single putting runners at first and second, Shayne Moody plated Chris Lane with an RBI single to left and Bray scored on Chris Taylor's sacrifice fly to center to cap the inning.
USC's Andrew Crisp, who led off the fifth with a single to center, later scored on a bases loaded wild pitch to give South Carolina a 7-5 lead. UNCC closed the gap to 7-6 on Moody's RBI single to right that scored Chris Lane.
South Carolina put the game away in the bottom of the eighth. After Crisp had a sacrifice fly to center and Havens added a run-scoring infield hit, Travis Jones capped USC's four-run frame with a two-out, two-run single to left field for the final margin.
Johnson (1-2) allowed a run on just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Gamecock starter Mike Cisco was lifted after the rain delay. Cisco allowed only one unearned run with four strikeouts over the first three innings. Jeff Jeffords pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his team-leading fifth save.
Stahl (2-1) suffered the loss surrendering seven runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings of work. Stahl walked five and struck out five.
Charlotte, which out-hit the Gamecocks 15-12, got three hits from Moody and two hits each from Bray, Taylor, Burt and Chris Lane.
Havens had three hits and an RBI, while teammates Crisp, Jones and Steven Reinhold added two hits each for the Gamecocks.
NCAA Columbia Regional All-Tournament Team
Catcher - Trent Kline, South Carolina
First Baseman - Justin Smoak, South Carolina
Second Baseman - Cory Lane, Charlotte
Shortstop - Ramon Corona, North Carolina State
Third Baseman - James Darnell, South Carolina
DH - Phil Disher, South Carolina
Outfield - Andrew Crisp, South Carolina
Outfield - Spencer Steedly, Charlotte
Outfield - Jeremy Synan, North Carolina State
Pitcher - Adam Mills, Charlotte
Pitcher - Curtis Johnson, South Carolina