June 9, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Senior lefthander Michael Roth worked 7 2/3 scoreless innings, and South Carolina jumped on Oklahoma early on its way to a 5-0 victory on Saturday night in the NCAA Columbia Super Regional at Carolina Stadium.
The Gamecocks (44-17) are now one win away from making their third straight trip to the College World Series. Carolina extended its NCAA record postseason winning streak to 20 games. The Gamecocks have also won 23 straight NCAA Tournament games at home, including a 12-0 mark at Carolina Stadium. With the loss, the Sooners fall to 42-24 on the year.
Roth didn't disappoint in his final start at Carolina Stadium as he allowed only six hits and had three strikeouts in 7 2/3 shutout innings to improve to 7-1 on the season. He is now 6-0 in the NCAA Tournament for his career.
Oklahoma starting hurler Jordan John (8-8) was tagged with the loss after working just two innings and surrendering three runs and two hits.
Evan Marzilli and Christian Walker went 2-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively, to lead Carolina at the plate. As a team, the Gamecocks tallied eight hits on the night. Joey Pankake, Walker, LB Dantzler and Chase Vergason each had one RBI. The Sooners collected six hits in the loss.
The Gamecocks struck first with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Adam Matthews drew a walk to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a single by Erik Payne and scored on a double to right center by Dantzler. Payne then plated on a wild pitch by John, and Dantzler made it 3-0 by scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field from Vergason.
Carolina padded its lead with a pair of runs in the seventh. Vergason produced a one-out single to get things started and stole second, his first stolen base of the season, to move into scoring position. Two batters later, Pankake ripped a single to center to drive in Vergason. Walker then delivered a single through the left side to score Pankake, giving the Gamecocks a 5-0 cushion.
Roth retired the first two batters of the eighth inning before giving up a single to Evan Mistich, which led to junior Tyler Webb entering the contest to finish out the game. Webb was stellar in relief as he fanned the final batter of the eighth inning and retired the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
The Gamecocks and Sooners will meet in game two of the Columbia Super Regional on Sunday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Live stats will be available at GamecocksOnline.com.
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