South Carolina's Johnson strikes out 11 vs UNC Wilmington
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Tyler Johnson held UNC Wilmington's potent offense to five hits and South Carolina avoided elimination for a third straight game with a 10-1 victory on Sunday, setting up a final regional showdown in the NCAA Tournament's Columbia Regional.
The Seahawks (41-18) had 22 runs and 27 hits in winning their first two regional games. But Johnson, a sophomore who hadn't started a game in two seasons, limited them to three singles, a double and a solo homer by Brian Mims.
South Carolina's attack stayed hot after defeating Rhode Island 23-2 earlier Sunday - its most ever runs scored in NCAA Tournament play. Gene Cone had a three-run double in the second inning as the Gamecocks (45-16) moved in front for good.
Johnson made it stand up. He finished with a career high 11 strikeouts and retired 15 of 16 during one stretch as the Gamecocks built their lead.
The win that sets up a rematch with the Seahawks Monday. The winner take all final is at 6 o'clock at Founders Park.
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