Gamecocks Survive With 2-1 Win

South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth won a pitcher's duel with Georgia Southern's Andy Moye. Roth only gave up one unearned run, while Moye gave up one earned and one unearned run and combined to give up only six hits. With the win, South Carolina advances in the winner's bracket to take on Stetson.

There's a reason why the Columbia Regional had the highest RPI among the four teams than any other Regional in the country - the teams are pretty good. If Stetson's thrilling 8-7 walk-off victory over NC State was any indication, it was going to be an exciting weekend of baseball. Game two between South Carolina and Georgia Southern did not disappoint. Though it didn't have near the offensive fireworks that included four homeruns in game one, it was every bit as close. In the end it was Carolina that came out on top, winning 2-1 to set up a winner's bracket match-up with second-seed Stetson Saturday night.

"Outstanding college baseball game - as well pitched game on both sides as you'll see," Georgia Southern coach Rodney Hennon said. "Andy (Moye) was outstanding and (Michael) Roth was outstanding for them. Neither guy was willing to give in. I thought our guys showed a lot of poise and composure. Unfortunately we couldn't find a way to score and you've got to tip your hat to them."

Michael Roth was dominant on the mound for Carolina, giving up just two hits and one unearned run with seven strikeouts in 7+ innings of work.

"Roth is one of those guys that's hard to hit hard," Hennon said. "It's not eye-popping stuff, but he can be effectively wild and he kind preys on hitters' aggressiveness. You can't try and do too much against him, and I thought at times we had some good at bats. He's just got a great feel for pitching and it's hard to square up balls on him because he mixes it up so well."

After hitting Tom Richardson to lead off the eighth, Roth was pulled for John Taylor. Taylor retired Ben Morgan on strikes, but was pulled after throwing two pitches to pinch-hitter Stryker Brown.

"JT's been pretty good," Tanner said. "We haven't dodged left-handers this year, but Price was on his way. Coach Meyers didn't like the one-strike swing. It worked out good for us."

Closer Matt Price came on to strike out Brown and Scooter Williams to end the eighth. With two outs in the ninth, Price had a showdown with Georgia Southern slugger Victor Roache. Price won the battle, striking out Roache looking to end the game.

"When Roache was coming up there, we had two outs," Tanner said. "I was thinking to myself that's a good situation for us. If he does hit a long one we're still tied. He's not going to drive the go-ahead run in. Matt made some good pitches - he jammed him, went away, and changed his arm slot on a fastball. What a special player Roache is and what a great year he's had."

Moye was just as good as Roth was. Moye - who lost for just the second time this year - went the whole game for the Eagles, pitching eight innings. Moye gave up four hits, two runs - one earned - and struck out four.

"I felt confident out there," Moye said. "We had a good gameplan. They had a lot of confidence in me. I was feeling good out there and just trying not to do too much."

Georgia Southern got on the board first in the third inning. After Ben Morgan drew a walk, Brent Pugh tried to bunt him over. The bunt went right back to Roth, who threw Morgan out at second. A wild pitch moved Pugh to second and Scooter Williams singled to right to set up runners at the corners with one out. Roth attempted to pick off Williams at first, but the ball bounced out of the glove of Walker allowing Pugh to score.

Carolina got that run back in the fourth in similar fashion they gave up the run in the third. After falling behind in the count, Scott Wingo was hit by a pitch. Moye tried to pick Wingo off at first, but a bad throw got by the first baseman, allowing Wingo to advance all the way to third. Brady Thomas reached out and poked a fly ball to center that was just far enough to allow Wingo to score and tie the game.

"I just didn't throw with a lot of confidence," Moye said of the errant throw that allowed Wingo to advance to third. "I just turned and threw it in the dirt and it got a way from me a little bit."

The Gamecocks missed an opportunity to grab the lead in the following inning, having runners on the corners and one out. However, Moye was able to get out of it, forcing Adam Matthews to pop up to shallow right and then striking out Evan Marzilli.

They would do the same in the sixth after Brady Thomas executed a picture-perfect hit-and-run with Christian Walker, allowing Walker to move all the way to third with just one out. This time Moye was unable to get out of it. Adrian Morales singled to right to score Walker and give the Gamecocks their first lead of the night, 2-1.

"Great college baseball game - a hard-fought win for us," Tanner said. "Michal battled his rear-end off for us and Moye was very special as well. You have two guys out there that only give up six hits on the night, that's very unique in this game. We're very fortunate to be able to win tonight and get to play in the winner's bracket tomorrow."

Carolina will face Stetson in tomorrow's winner's bracket game at 7:00, while Georgia Southern will face NC State in an elimination game.

"I was impressed with what they were able to do," Tanner said of Stetson. "NC State came out swinging the bat well and they came rushing back. Stetson's been good for a long time. I think they have some outstanding talent. This is a very difficult Regional. We were fortunate to win tonight and play them tomorrow."

Colby Holmes will get the start for the Gamecocks.


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