June 7, 2018
South Carolina at Arkansas
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina baseball team makes its 13th trip to the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend, as the Gamecocks will face No. 5 Arkansas in the Fayetteville Super Regional. The best-of-three series starts on Saturday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. CDT). The series continues on Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. CDT). The if necessary third game will take place on Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. CDT).
Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPN2 while Sunday and Monday’s contests will be on ESPN with Dave Neal, Ben McDonald and Chris Burke on the call. Every game will be on the IMG Gamecock Radio Network with Derek Scott and Tommy Moody on the call.
The Gamecocks swept through the Greenville Regional this past weekend, defeating Ohio State, host East Carolina and UNC Wilmington to advance to Super Regional action.
> The Razorbacks also went 3-0 in their home regional, defeating Oral Roberts (10-2), Southern Miss (10-2) and Dallas Baptist (3-2). Kacey Murphy, Jared Gates, Carson Shaddy, Casey Martin, Heston Kjerstad and Dominic Fletcher all made the Fayetteville Regional All-Tournament team. In the championship game against Dallas Baptist, Gates was 2-for-2 with two runs scored while Jake Reindl pitched seven innings of relief, striking out four to earn the win. Kjerstad, the SEC Freshman of the Year, leads the Razorbacks with a .344 average, 14 doubles and 13 home runs. Blaine Knight, Saturday’s starting pitcher, is a perfect 11-0 with a 2.74 ERA.
SERIES VS. ARKANSAS
> Arkansas leads the overall series with South Carolina 40-32, with four of those meetings occurring during the College World Series. The two teams played each other this season in a three-game series in Fayetteville and once in the SEC Tournament. Carlos Cortes’ two-run home run in the fifth inning was the difference in a 3-2 win over Arkansas on April 12. Eddy Demurias picked up the save in that win, striking out three in 2.1 innings pitched. After Friday’s game was postponed due to rain, the two teams played a pair of seven-inning contests, with Arkansas coming out on top 2-0 and 3-0. The Razorbacks won, 13-8, in the SEC Tournament on May 23 as LT Tolbert had four hits and drove in five runs.
SUPER REGIONAL HISTORY
> South Carolina has a 17-13 overall record in Super Regional play, winning the best-of-three series in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The last time the Gamecocks were in a Super Regional was in 2016, when they lost a pair of home games to Oklahoma State. The last time the Gamecocks were on the road for Super Regionals was in 2013 at Chapel Hill, N.C., falling in three games to North Carolina. Check out pages 8-9 of the game notes for Carolina’s full NCAA Tournament history.
GAMECOCKS WIN GREENVILLE REGIONAL
> South Carolina went 3-0 in the Greenville Regional, defeating Ohio State (8-3), East Carolina (4-2) and UNC Wilmington (8-4) to move on to the Fayetteville Super Regional. Danny Blair was named the Greenville Regional Most Valuable Player, as his three-run home run in the seventh inning against Ohio State gave the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead. Cody Morris pitched a career-high 7.1 innings in the win over East Carolina, while Eddy Demurias earned a win against Ohio State and pitched three innings of relief in the championship game against UNC Wilmington. Blair was joined on the All-Tournament team by Morris, LT Tolbert, Justin Row and Carlos Cortes.
BLAIR THE HERO OF THE REGIONAL
> Danny Blair came into the Ohio State game as a defensive replacement, but became way more than that on his way to being named Most Valuable Player of the Greenville Regional. Blair belted a three-run home run in the seventh inning to give Carolina a 3-2 lead on its way to an 8-3 win. The next night against East Carolina, Blair had three hits and he capped the week with a pair of runs scored in the UNC Wilmington win. Blair moved his average up to .245 on the season.
MORRIS DELIVERS IN ECU WIN
> Cody Morris earned the win on Saturday, June 2 against East Carolina, pitching a career high 7.1 innings with seven strikeouts while allowing just five hits and two runs scored. Morris has been lights out his last three appearances, earning two wins with an 0.84 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched.
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