June 22, 2010

Game 7 Notes

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Top-seeded Sun Devils sent home by Gamecocks

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – It was over when the snowman appeared.


South Carolina used an eight-run second to eliminate top-seeded Arizona State 11-4 in Game 7 of the 2010 College World Series in front of 19,936 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Gamecocks (49-16) will face the loser of the Oklahoma-Clemson game on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in an elimination contest.


The Sun Devils (52-10) became the first No. 1 seed to go 0-2 in Omaha under the current format.


South Carolina got eight hits in the second, its most hits in an inning this season. After not getting a bunt down on a 2-0 pitch with runners on first and second with one out, Scott Wingo lined a two-run double to start the scoring. Whit Merrifield added a RBI single before Jackie Bradley Jr. launched a three-run homer to left center to make it 6-0.


“I was looking to drive him in,” Bradley said, “get a sac fly somewhere. And he made a great pitch. It was low and outside. I just happened to stay back on it, put a good swing on it, and it was wind-assisted a little bit. So it happened to work out.”


Adrian Morales belted a two-run blast off the fair pole in left later in the frame to push the lead to 8-0.


“We don’t score runs like that very often,” said Gamecock head coach Ray Tanner. “But we had some big, big at-bats in that inning and it gave us an opportunity against a great club.”


South Carolina added a pair in the third. With the bases loaded, Bradley was hit by a pitch and Christian Walker drew a walk to extend the margin to 10-0.


Austin Barnes and Drew Maggi both had RBI singles in the top of the fifth as the Sun Devils made it 10-2, but ASU stranded a pair.


The Sun Devils got two more in the eighth. Deven Marrero and Matt Newman had RBI singles, but reliever Matt Price fanned the final two batters of the inning with the bases full.


Merrifield went deep in the bottom of the frame to give the Gamecocks an 11-4 advantage.


Price allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, retired the final three to secure the victory.


Sam Dyson (6-5) allowed eight hits and four earned runs in 7.1 innings with two walks and three strikeouts to earn the win.


“Sam Dyson was outstanding,” Tanner said. “If you look at his line score, it’s impressive.”


ASU starter Merrill Kelly (10-3) lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and eight runs with no walks and three strikeouts.


Bradley finished with three hits and four RBI for South Carolina, while Merrifield had three hits, two runs and two RBI.


Marrero went 3 for 4 with one run and one RBI for the Sun Devils.


“You can’t have a start like we did against a quality team like South Carolina,” said ASU head coach Tim Esmay. “I thought they did a heck of a job putting us on our heels, and I think you have to do that in a game like this where you lose and you go home.”