The hope that Oklahoma State baseball would jump a flight and head home to host an NCAA Super Regional this weekend at Allie Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater was fleeting as host South Carolina jumped on UNC-Wilmington early and often to build a convincing 8-1 lead before the Seahawks rallied for four runs in the eighth inning.
But it was not enough as the Gamecocks won the Columbia Regional finale at Founders Field and will now host Oklahoma State, the winner of the Clemson Regional, for a best-of-three Super Regional with the first game on Saturday at 2 p.m. (CT).
The Cowboys worked out this morning again at Clemson before adjourning to watch the game this afternoon that would decided their weekend destination.
UNCW took an early 1-0 lead and sat down the South Carolina batters in perfect order the first three innings before the gates caved in. Designated hitter Alex Destino has been strong throughout the regional and he was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two batted in. Madison Stokes was even more productive with a 3-for-4 day and three runs scored and three knocked in. Outfielder T. J. Hopkins moved runners along as he finished 3-for-5 at the plate and scored one run. D.C. Arendas had the biggest blow of the game with a home run.
Taylor Widener got the start for the Gamecocks and pitched well in only his fifth start of the season as he is primarily a reliever. South Carolina pieced the game together with four pitchers and Josh Reagan, who pitched three innings, got the win despite giving up four hits and three runs, all earned.
South Carolina has recovered from going 0-2 in the SEC Tournament by going 4-1 in the Columbia Regional to advance after losing the first game to Rhode Island by one run. The Cowboys went 1-2 in the Big 12 Tournament but were sensational at Clemson going 3-0 and disposing of the national seed Clemson Tigers twice.
Oklahoma State heads to Columbia with a 39-20 record while South Carolina is 46-16.
Super Regional Schedule
Saturday, June 11
Oklahoma State at South Carolina (Founders Field) 2 p.m. (CT) ESPN2 or ESPNU
Sunday, June 12
Oklahoma State at South Carolina (Founders Field) noon or 3 p.m. (CT) ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN3
Monday, June 13 (if necessary)
Oklahoma State at South Carolina (Founders Field) 6 p.m. (CT) TBA