South Carolina clinches regional title with win over Clemson, advances to Super Regionals
COLUMBIA - South Carolina left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery quieted Clemson bats for nearly seven innings Sunday, helping the Gamecocks to a 4-3 win and Columbia Regional title.
With the win South Caroeliminates Clemson from the NCAA Tournament and advances to its 10th Super Regional appearance next weekend.
The Gamecocks will play the winner of the Regional hosted by Virginia. The starting date for the Super Regional will be announced Monday night.
USC will play Virginia, Oklahoma or Appalachian State in the Super Regional. Virginia and Oklahoma play in an elimination game tonight, with the winner facing Appalachian State Monday at 4 p.m. Appalachian State must lose twice – with Monday’s second game being at 8 – in order to not advance to the Super Regional.
Montgomery could relax early as South Carolina scored three first-inning runs. Joe Pankake led off the game with a triple and Evan Marzilli and Adam Matthews followed with RBI hits.
Montgomery pounded the strike zone and kept Clemson scoreless until the sixth when Thomas Brittle scored Steve Wilkerson on a RBI double and Phil Pohl added an RBI groundout to cut the USC lead to 4-2.
Montgomery left in the seventh. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed five hits, two runs, one walk and struck out six.
Tyler Webb came on in relief and stuck out Thomas Brittle and Richie Shaffer in the eighth. It likely marked Shaffer’s last plate appearance as a Tiger as the junior is a projected first-round pick in tomorrow’s MLB draft.
Webb stayed on to pitch the ninth, allowing a RBI single to Spencer Kieboom.
Clemson advanced to Sunday’s second game by defeating Coastal Carolina, 5-3, earlier in the day.