OMAHA, NE (WIS) - The Gamecocks beat Clemson in an Omaha rematch Friday night at the College World Series, a repeat of the 2002 matchup between USC and the Tigers.
Carolina sophomore pitcher Michael Roth earned the three-hitter complete game victory, though coaches initially expected him to play only a few innings. Roth (2-1) has been a short reliever his entire career, logging more than three innings in only two of his previous 48 career appearances. He struck out four, walked one and hit two batters.
Clemson (45-24) needed just one win to advance to the national championship round, but the Gamecocks (51-16) needed two wins over their arch-rival to make it to the finals.
It took 12 innings Thursday night for the Gamecocks to score two runs, but they matched that total by the second inning on Friday. Adrian Morales singled to let Brady Thomas score. Morales was thrown out at second, but the Gamecocks went up 2-0.
In the third inning, Jackie Bradley, Jr. extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a double to left center. Evan Marzilli scored off the hit, putting USC up 3-0.
At the bottom of the third, the pitch got away from USC catcher Kyle Enders, and the passed ball allowed Richie Shaffer to score, putting the Tigers on the board.
Enders made up for his error in the next inning, getting good aluminum on a solo home run to put the Gamecocks up 4-1. Enders got another RBI in the sixth, driving in Brady Thomas to make the score 5-1 USC. The score remained unchanged for the rest of the game, putting the Gamecocks one step closer to the national championship round.
Carolina and Clemson will play a loser-go-home game Saturday at 7:00pm on ESPN.