USC baseball rallies to beat Virginia, 4-3 in opening round of the NCAA regionals

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Daniel Lloyd struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning, as South Carolina (34-21) held on for a come-from-behind 4-3 win against Virginia (29-23) in the opening round of the NCAA Columbia Regional.

The Gamecocks trailed 3-1 before scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Colin Burgess had the go-ahead RBI single with two outs, scoring Josiah Sightler from second base.

South Carolina jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Wes Clarke homered to opposite field with two outs in the bottom of the first. UVA answered with solo shots by Jake Gelof and Zack Gelof in the top of the third. The Gamecocks made a pitching change in the same inning, pulling starter Brett Kerry after a muscle cramp in his neck flared up.

The Cavaliers added another run on an infield single off reliver Julian Bosnic to take a 3-1 lead after the top half of the third.

Starter Andrew Abbott had Carolina’s number for the next four innings, allowing just one hit to Brennan Milone to leadoff the fifth inning.

The Gamecocks finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth. Nine-hole hitter George Calil started the inning with a walk. Abbott then retired the next two hitters bringing up Clarke. He battled, working the count full fouling off several pitches with two strikes to stay alive. Abbott hung a fastball and Clarke roped a ground rule double into the UVA bullpen out in left field. Josiah Sightler then stepped in and turned on one for another ground rule double down the line in right field, scoring Callil and Clarke to tie the game at 3-3.

Lloyd came in for Bosnic in the top half of the seventh to finish the game, throwing shutout innings with four strikeouts while allowing just one hit.

POSTGAME NOTES

  • Wes Clarke moved into a tie for second on Carolina’s single-season home run list with his 23rd round tripper of the year. Clarke is tied with Nick Ebert (2009), Justin Smoak (2008) and Joe Datin for the second spot.
  • Carolina has now won 11 straight games against Virginia.
  • Carolina moved to 137-69 overall in NCAA Tournament games.
  • The Gamecocks won their second straight NCAA Tournament opener.

UP NEXT

The Gamecocks will face the winner of top-seeded Old Dominion (42-14) and fourth-seeded Jacksonville (16-32) on Saturday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ET at Founders Park.
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Courtesy – South Carolina Athletics

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