The Gamecocks defeated Central Florida twice at the friendly confines of Sarge Frye Field to finish off a brutal march through the losers’ bracket to win their regional championship.
Carolina was victorious over the top-ten ranked Knights by scores of 9-7 and 5-2, earning a date in the next weekend’s super-regionals. In the first game, hurlers David Marchbanks and Lee Gronkiewicz combined for the USC victory, while Blake Taylor and Kip Bouknight did the same in game two.
The Gamecocks battered UCF for seven runs in the third-inning of game one, but then had to hold on late to survive a gutsy Knights comeback.
In game two, the big blow came from Tripp Kelly, who launched a two-run homer in the fifth, giving USC a 3-0 lead. Ironically, Kelly had been unsuccessful on two sacrifice bunt attempts right before launching the game-changing blast.
The road to Omaha would not get any easier for Carolina, as they would head west to Palo Alto, California for the super-regionals versus the Stanford Cardinal.