Gamecocks’ Comeback Falls Short Against Maryland, 4-3
COLUMBIA, SC -
Top-seeded South Carolina dropped a 4-3 decision to second-seeded Maryland on Saturday night in the NCAA Columbia Regional at Carolina Stadium.
After trailing 4-0 through two innings, the Gamecocks (43-17) scored one run in the fourth and two in the sixth to trim the Terrapins’ lead to one run. In the top of the ninth inning, singles by Tanner English and Max Schrock gave Carolina runners on the corners with one out, but its comeback bid came up short as Joey Pankake grounded into a double play to end the game.
The loss snaps South Carolina’s 28-game home NCAA Tournament winning streak and is also the Gamecocks’ first postseason loss at Carolina Stadium (17-1). The Gamecocks’ last home NCAA Tournament loss was to Miami (5-2) in a Super Regional on June 8, 2002.
South Carolina will face fourth-seeded Campbell in an elimination game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner of that contest will play Maryland (38-21) at 7 p.m.
The Gamecocks recorded eight hits on the night, including a 3-for-4 effort by first baseman Kyle Martin. DC Arendas went 2-for-2 and drove in a pair of runs, while Schrock added two hits.
Maryland finished with eight hits as well, with Charlie White and LaMonte Wade producing two hits apiece.
Terrapin starting hurler Mike Shawaryn (11-3) earned the win after giving up three runs and five hits and striking out three in 6 1/3 innings of work. Closer Kevin Mooney picked up his 12th save of the season by working a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits with two strikeouts.
Gamecock starter Jack Wynkoop (7-6) took the loss after surrendering four runs (two earned) and six hits in 1 2/3 innings on the mound.
The Terrapins came out strong at the plate early on, scoring four runs in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, White smashed a double to left center and scored two batters later on a Brandon Lowe single to take a 1-0 lead.
Maryland added three more runs in the second. Wade delivered a two-out RBI double in the inning. Wade and White also scored later in the inning when Lowe reached base safely on a Gamecock throwing error, giving the Terrapins a 4-0 advantage.
The Gamecocks began to chip away at their deficit in the fourth. Martin got things started with a two-out single to right field and then advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. After Grayson Greiner drew a walk, Arendas ripped a single to left field, driving in Martin to cut Maryland’s lead to 4-1.
South Carolina pulled to within a run in the sixth with two more runs. After Schrock led off with a single and Pankake drew a walk, Martin narrowly missed a home run with a double off the top of the right-field wall padding, scoring Schrock. Arendas then drove home Pankake with a sacrifice fly to left field to trim the Terrapins’ lead to 4-3, but the Gamecocks were unable to produce a run over the final three innings.
The Gamecocks’ matchup with Campbell on Sunday will be streamed live on ESPN3. Live stats will be available at Gamecocksonline.com.?