South Carolina-Kent State in College World Series delayed by rain, Kyle Martin at DH for USC
OMAHA, Neb. – The start of South Carolina’s College World Series elimination game tonight against Kent State has been delayed by heavy rain. The game was supposed to start at 8 p.m. Eastern, but World Series officials said the rain is expected to continue until 9 Eastern.
The College World Series will provide official weather updates on its Twitter page (@NCAACWS).
The starting lineups for tonight’s game are out, and the two noteworthy items are the presence of freshman catcher Grayson Greiner and freshman designated hitter Kyle Martin.
Greiner played in both of USC’s first two games in this World Series – a win Saturday over Florida and a loss Monday to Arkansas – but junior Dante Rosenberg started both games and was replaced by Greiner. The Florida game was Greiner’s first of the NCAA tournament, as he was recovering from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.
The designated hitters against Florida and Arkansas were right-handers Erik Payne and Connor Bright. Florida started a lefty pitcher, while Arkansas started a righty, and Bright is better than Payne against righty pitchers.
Martin, a lefty power hitter, will go up against Kent State righty Tyler Skulina tonight. Martin has played in 35 games this season, with 18 starts, and is hitting .323, with a .446 slugging percentage, five doubles, a home run and 11 runs batted-in.
This is just Martin’s third game of the NCAA tournament. He played in the Regional against Manhattan and Clemson, but only started the Manhattan game. He went 1 for 3 with a single in those games, and it was a big one – in the first Regional game against Clemson, a 5-4 USC win in 12 innings. Martin pinch hit to lead off the ninth inning and singled. He was replaced by pinch runner T.J. Costen, who later scored.
In another big stage game, USC’s first contest against Clemson this season, in Charleston, Martin pinch it in the 11th and singled to move a runner from second to third. That runner later scored, tying the game at two. USC won 3-2 in 11.
USC is trying to stay alive in its quest to become just the second team to ever win three straight national titles. If the Gamecocks lose, they’re finished. If they win, they play Arkansas on Thursday night. Tonight’s game will air on ESPN.