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OMAHA, NE (WIS) -
Strong pitching from Tyler Webb and great defensive play from the outfield was not enough for the Gamecocks to extend their winning streak of 22 games in the NCAA tournament, as they fell to Arkansas 2-1 Monday night.
The Razorbacks scored twice in the first four innings and held on tight for most of the game.
The Gamecocks cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning. Chase Vergason led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Dante Rosenberg and scored on Evan Marzilli's two-out triple to deep centerfield.
USC was limited to just four hits on the night and were just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding seven runners on base.
"I thought we were pretty good tonight as well," South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner
said. "We played pretty well and pitched pretty well against Arkansas.
We didn't do enough to win. They did and that's the way the game goes
"We just didn't get enough opportunities to push the envelope a little bit because they were pitching so well," Tanner said.
"Tyler Webb came in for us and battled his rear end off to give us a chance,"
Tanner said. "We just weren't able to get any runs across on their
pitching staff. Stanek and Astin were very special."
"I went out there with the mindset to throw strikes and throw as well as
I could to as long as I could," Webb said. "I wanted to hold them to
the lead they already had and give them a chance to win."
"Surprisingly, they only had four strikeouts, I guess it was,"
Tanner said. "We battled in there. I thought their stuff was really
good. We couldn't get into a situation to make things happen."
"We've never discussed (South Carolina's streak) to the team. To our
team, it's just another SEC battle," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn
said. "Just a big win. They're a great team. It's unimaginable to win
(22) games in a row in the postseason. Hats off to coach Tanner and his
group. They've done a nice job. Our guys came out and did what they do -
play hard and throw a lot of strikes."
The Gamecocks will now face Kent State, who eliminated the Florida Gators earlier in the afternoon, on Wednesday night. The winner of that game will face Arkansas with a trip to the CWS finals on the line.
USC has been in this position before. In 2010, the Gamecocks were defeated by the Oklahoma Sooners in the first round of the CWS. However, the team would battle all the way back to the CWS finals where they clinched their first national title.
South Carolina will practice on Tuesday before playing its elimination
game. Tanner said he has not decided on a starting pitcher.