In a year with more than its shares of scrapes, bruises, strains and sprains, Sunday's 10-1 loss to Maryland was the most injurious of all to the South Carolina baseball season.
It ended it at Carolina Stadium -- well short of the College World Series and even one step from a Super Regional trip to Charlottesville, Va.
Starting pitcher, Jake Drossner
The red-hot Terps -- relative strangers to the NCAA Tournament -- were twice too much for the Gamecocks. Maryland, playing in its first NCAA Tournament since 1970, advanced to a Super Regional for the first time in program history.
The loss was also rather historic for the Gamecocks, who had not been eliminated from a home regional since 1976. They also were eliminated in a regional for the first time since 2009 in Greensboro, N.C.
"It sucks," South Carolina outfielder Tanner English said. "We're done playing for the year. We definitely fell short of where we wanted to. It's not going to be fun to lose like that - especially in that fashion - in front of your fans. So, yeah, it sucks."
After a 9-0 victory over Campbell in South Carolina's first elimination game of the day, the Gamecocks' bats fell silent when they were needed most. South Carolina hitters were a combined 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-15 with runners on base. The Gamecocks left 10 baserunners stranded on the night.
"Most of our opportunities with base runners over the course of the weekend came with two outs, and we just couldn't get that big hit," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "We just couldn't get that big hit, offensively."
Marcus Mooney is safe at home
The Gamecocks' lone run came in the first inning. Lead-off hitter Marcus Mooney singled and scored from first on Kyle Martin's double to center field, beating a throw at the plate to put South Carolina up 1-0. That lead held up behind closer-turned-starter Joel Seddon until Maryland plated two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to go up 4-1.
Seddon (3-2) lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs - all earned. He struck out six and walked two. He retired the first batter he faced before giving up a walk and a single. Both of those baserunners scored to put Maryland ahead 6-1.
Charlie White, MVP Columbia NCAA Regional
Regional Most Outstanding Player and Maryland centerfielder Charlie White went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the Terps. Shortstop Blake Schmit went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and he drove in two runs.
"This is huge for our program," Schmit said. "Obviously, we're real happy with where we are. We're a hot team right now. . . . This is a tough place to play, but we came in and got the regional win and we're playing in the Super Regional, so we're real happy." The Terps (39-21) are 14-2 over their last 16 games, inlcuding the two regional wins over South Carolina, which ends its season with a 44-18 record.
Chad Holbrook / John Szefc
Holbrook reflected about a season that held more than its share of injuries and ended with its share of disappointment Saturday night. "There was a point in time this season that I was worried about making the postseason, to be quite honest, when we were scuffling so bad and could barely field a team," he said. "I'm proud of my players. I'm proud of my team.
"That was a good season, but good is not good enough around here. I understand that. We have to do better than good, and that's going to be the attitude for as long as I'm the coach."
* The 10 runs scored by Maryland was the most the Terps had scored against South Carolina since an 11-6 win in 1925.
* The Gamecocks are now 128-64 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 60-10 at home and 18-2 at Carolina Stadium.
* The Terps are 35-0 this season when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
* Maryland is now 26-15 all-time against the Gamecocks, including a 13-7 record in Columbia. The series dates back to 1920.
Player IntroductionsPhotos by Burton Fowles