OMAHA, Neb. -- Whit Merrifield was 10 for his last 31 and on a seven-game hit streak coming into Tuesday's game against Arizona State, but you never would have known it.
South Carolina's junior right fielder had been ultra-quiet, particularly in big situations. He came through Tuesday, though, with a three-hit game -- including his 13th home run of the season -- in the team's win against the Sun Devils. The solo shot, in the ninth, padded USC's 10-4 lead.
The Gamecocks were left hopeful that one of their top-of-the-order sparkplugs would use Tuesday as a springboard in this event.
"I sure hope so," said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who was 3 for 4 with four RBIs on Tuesday. "We need him. He's one of our leaders."
These could be Merrifield's last games in a USC uniform, after all. Chances are, he'll sign with Kansas City after being taken in the ninth round by the Royals.
Clemson right-hander Scott Weismann was off to a good start Tuesday against Oklahoma. Despite failing to record a strikeout in a super regional win against Alabama last weekend, he had struck out three Sooners batters in the first two innings.
He developed a split-finger pitch this year to go against left-handed batters -- something handy considering Oklahoma's lineup is loaded with guys that hit from the left side.
Weismann pitched the first three innings without allowing a run, picking up where left-hander Casey Harman left off Monday after his strong outing against Arizona State.
Shaking it off
Adrian Morales' fly ball to center with the bases loaded ended USC's loss to Oklahoma on Sunday, but the junior third baseman bounced back Tuesday to go 2 for 5 with a two-run home run.
Morales said he'd been haunted by making the last out Sunday. "I'm my biggest critic, so I felt it the worst," he said. "I was down on myself the whole night. I couldn't sleep. I tried to bounce back and help the team win and I was able to do that today."
USC second baseman Scott Wingo's two-run double in the second provided his first two-RBI game since April 30. Wingo hasn't swung the bat well in the second half of the year. ... Counting a single by John Hinson on Tuesday, Clemson's first 15 hits here were all singles. ... There was a seven-minute delay in the seventh inning during USC's game when home plate umpire David Savage had to be replaced after becoming dehydrated. He was replaced by second base umpire Kelly Gonzales.