South Carolina Captures NCAA Regional Championship With Win Over Evansville|
June 5, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. - Behind a complete game pitching performance by Wynn Pelzer and with the help of Phil Disher's three-run homer, South Carolina defeated Evansville 5-1 to capture the NCAA Charlottesville Regional championship and advance to the NCAA Super Regional. Disher earned tournament MVP honors and homered three times with 10 RBI throughout the four games this weekend. Carolina now faces Georgia in the Super Regional. Game dates are Saturday, Sunday and Monday (if necessary). Times and TV information will be announced on late Tuesday morning. South Carolina is now 40-23 and has advanced to six of the last seven NCAA Super Regionals (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). This is also Carolina's seventh consecutive 40-plus win season.
"It would be an understatement to say that I'm extremely proud of our players for bouncing back from the shellacking yesterday to come back and win the Regional and move on to the Super Regional," said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. "We needed a guy like Wynn Pelzer out there tonight to get the win today. I thought he pitched very well today. We had to get what we could out of him today and he came out and did a super job."
Pelzer's complete game was his second of the year. He went nine innings and allowed one run on eight hits while striking out nine batters to improve to 5-4 this season. Kai Tuomi, the starting pitcher for Evansville, suffered the loss and is 6-2 this year. He lasted only 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on four hits.
South Carolina gained the early advantage with a run in the top of the first inning off of Tuomi. Chris Brown drew a leadoff walk and Neil Giesler singled to put runners on base for the Gamecocks. With two outs and runners on the corners, USC freshman Andrew Crisp laced a single to left field scoring Brown giving Carolina a 1-0 lead.
That lead increased to 4-0 as Disher once again came through with a big home run to left field. With runners on second and third base and one out, Evansville summoned right-handed reliever Mark Murray to face the Gamecock designated hitter. On a 3-1 pitch, Disher drove the ball to deep left field for his fifth homer of the year and his third of the tournament.
Evansville would score their only run in the seventh inning as a two-out triple from Jim Viscomi scored Gabe Bauer and cut the deficit to three runs. USC would bounce back with a run in the eighth inning as Ian Paxton drove in Justin Smoak with a RBI fielder's choice.
Each team finished the game with eight hits with Brown 2-for-3 with two runs and Neil Giesler and Crisp adding two hits apiece. Viscomi, Pat Tumilty, and Kirk Bacsu all had two hits for the Purple Aces.
"It's great to be able to advance to the Super Regional," said Tanner. "This was a very, very tough regional. I thought Virginia was one of the best teams in the country and Evansville was playing very, very well."
Five different Gamecock players including tournament MVP Phil Disher were named to the All-Tournament Team. Also on the team were Pelzer, starting pitcher Mike Cisco, second baseman Chris Brown and third baseman Neil Giesler. Disher made the team as designated hitter.