South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook said his team’s winning streak at home in the NCAA tournament could end any game. He was right.
Maryland defeated the Gamecocks 4-3 Saturday night in Carolina Stadium to stop a 28-game winning streak that dated back to the 2002 playoffs.
The Gamecocks (43-17) fall into the losers’ bracket to play Campbell Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game must defeat Maryland (38-21) two times, starting with a Sunday game at 7 p.m.
The game ended when Joey Pankake grounded into a double play with runners on the corners. Kevin Mooney collected his 12th save after allowing singles to Tanner English and Max Schrock.
The Gamecocks got a solid performance from reliever Taylor Widener in his longest outing of the season. The freshman right-hander kept the Terps in check for 6 1/3 scoreless innings to allow USC to get back in the game. He got some help in the sixth inning when left-fielder Gene Cone threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning after LaMonte Wade’s single.
South Carolina cut the lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning with a two-out rally keyed by DC Arendas’ RBI single. The Gamecocks got to Maryland starter Mike Shawaryn (11-3) in the sixth for two more runs, as Kyle Martin drilled an RBI double off the right-field wall and Arendas added a sacrifice fly pull within 4-3.
Shawaryn pitched into the seventh inning but departed after a hit batsman and a walk. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
The Terps knocked USC left-hander Jack Wynkoop (7-6) out of the game early after scoring one run in the first inning and three more in the second. Brandon Lowe collected the RBI single in the first inning, and Wade ripped an RBI double in the second. Maryland’s two other runs scored on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Joey Pankake on Lowe’s slow roller.
Wynkoop gave up six hits and only struck out one hitter in his 1 2/3 innings. In his last three starts, he has allowed 14 runs, nine earned, on 19 hits over nine innings.