South Carolina didn’t get the result it was looking for Saturday against Oklahoma State, but freshman Braden Webb did all he could to keep the Gamecocks in the game.
The righty pitched 7 2/3 innings while allowing only one earned run in what will likely be his last outing at Founders Park. Webb was drafted in the third round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
“Braden threw great. He kept us in the game and gave us a chance,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said. “He did all that we could ask him to do.”
Webb pitched the ninth inning Tuesday against UNCW, and had three days off before a 110-pitching outing against the Cowboys.
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He allowed six hits with five strikeouts and only gave up a pair of runs in the second inning. One of the runs was unearned.
“My outing today was not as great as I would have liked for it to have been, but I came out there and competed,” Webb said.
He worked out of trouble to keep the Gamecocks within striking distance as OSU had runners on the corners with one out in the fourth inning, a runner on third with one out in the fifth and two on with one out in the seventh but didn’t score.
“Hats off to Braden Webb. He did a terrific job,” outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams said.
Oklahoma State has won four straight games in the NCAA Tournament, outscoring opponents 32-5.
OSU’s starting pitchers have allowed only two runs in four postseason games.
“They’re on a roll, and they do things a lot like we do in regards to try to make it difficult on the opponent to score, pitch and play great defense, and they did that better than we did today,” Holbrook said.
The Cowboys will start righty Tyler Buffett on Sunday. The junior is 7-3 with a 3.34 ERA. Buffett allowed 11 runs, seven earned, in less than an inning combined against TCU and Texas late in the season, but responded by holding Clemson to one run in seven innings last weekend.
He has nine saves and was used as a closer for much of the year before transitioning into the starting rotation.
“Part of stabilizing a team is protecting leads, and early this year we needed someone to protect leads and he became our guy, kind of our closer, stopper, winner,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “He pitched beautifully in that role for about 30 games and really was a huge part of stabilizing our season.”
LATE HOMER PROVES COSTLY
USC trailed 2-0 in the top of the ninth inning when Taylor Widener gave up a three-run homer to Cowboys nine-hole hitter Collin Theroux.
The catcher entered Saturday’s game batting .161 before going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
“Those runs were crucial. I wasn’t trying to hit a home run, but just trying to put the ball in play,” Theroux said.