Win # 2002, #360 Since 2000, USC 5 - CSF 3

In a game in which The University of South Carolina won their 360th since the year 2000, and in doing so regained the title as "The Winningest College Baseball Team In America In The New Millenium," ... not to mention picking up program win number 2002 in the process - the Gamecocks are no longer the hunted, they have become the hunters ...

All the pressure is on the Cal State Fullerton Titans now it would seem as South Carolina (53-16) did more than just survive another day. By beating the Titans 5-3 Wednesday night, the Gamecocks reversed the tables on CSUF and turned the bracket 2 tilt into a winner take all chance for the championship series.

Facing a do-or-die elimination situation for the third straight evening in Omaha, the Gamecocks sent their number four man Jason Fletcher to the mound and he came through with flying garnet and black colors. Chad Blackwell came on in relief in the seventh with a two run lead - Cal State Fullerton (44-22) did not realize it at the time, but from that point forward they never really had a chance as Spyder Blackwell held the Titans hitless over the final three innings.

Fletcher (6-1) went six innings and allowed all five Fullerton hits, but held the Titans hitless over his final two innings before stepping aside allowing Blackwell to come in for the kill. The two Gamecock pitchers combined to retire 16 of the last 17 Titan batters. Blackwell's effort earned him his nation leading 20th save of the season.

Felipe Garcia's wind aided two-run double into deep center field over Davy Gregg's head in the first inning gave Fullerton an early lead, but the Gamecocks roared back to tie it in the second on Brendan Winn's RBI single, and then went ahead 3-2 in the third on a Brian Triplett two-run homer.

Fullerton would tie it at 3 in the fourth after Sergio Pedroza walked and took third on P.J. Pilittere's single. Pedroza came home on Prettyman's squeeze bunt, but that would be the final threat on the day by the Titans.

South Carolina took the lead for good in the seventh inning.

Davy Gregg caught the Titans off guard bunting for a hit before reaching third on a fielding error by the Titan pitcher Martinez. Triplett followed with a sharply hit ground ball single between third and short, and Steve Pearce tagged on a extra run with an RBI single sending Triplett home. 5-3 would remain the final score as Fletcher pitched hitless 5th and 6th innings followed by another shutdown of an opposing team by the nation's best save man Blackwell.

South Carolina hit the ball hard all night long. The Gamecocks stranded eleven during the course of the evening, but appeared in command of the tempo and momentum for most of the night.

The Gamecocks and Titans will square off Thursday night at 7:00 pm on ESPN2 for the right to advance to the College World Series Championship Series against Bracket 1 winner Texas.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories