June 5, 2010
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Wojciechowski in South Carolina win
By Phil Stanton
S.C. – He might not look like a first-rounder, but he pitches
Senior Blake Cooper (5-10, 180) (right) fanned a
career-high 12 as top-seeded South Carolina defeated
third-seeded The Citadel and potential first-round draft pick
Asher Wojciechowski (6-4, 235) 9-4 Saturday evening in the
Columbia Regional in front of 7,418 fans at Carolina Stadium.
“It was a great atmosphere for college baseball
and it was a great college baseball game,” said Gamecock head
coach Ray Tanner.
The Bulldogs (43-21) had their 13-game win streak
snapped. The Citadel will face second-seeded Virginia Tech on
Sunday at 2 p.m. in an elimination contest. The winner will meet
the Gamecocks (45-15) on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. and will need
to beat USC twice to capture the regional title.
Cooper (11-1) allowed six hits, four runs (none
earned) and three walks in 7.1 innings. No other Gamecock
pitcher struck out 12 in a game this season.
“Wojciechowski was special, and so was Blake
Cooper,” Tanner said, “two guys really in a duel out there. It
seemed like they were striking everybody out. They had good
stuff. It was a tough night for hitters.”
Kyle Enders lofted a high two-run homer to left
with two outs in the top of the second to put the Gamecocks on
The Bulldogs got one back in the fourth on a
run-scoring single by Kyle Jordan.
The Citadel had its first two retired in the
fifth before Brad Felder struck out and reached first when the
catcher didn’t hold onto the ball and made a bad throw to first.
Matt Simonelli kept the inning going with a base hit and Bryan
Altman belted a three-run homer, his 14th, to give the Bulldogs
a 4-2 advantage.
The Gamecocks knocked Wojciechowski out in the
seventh. USC had two on with one out when pinch-hitter Evan
Marzilli singled to plate the pair and tie the game at 4.
“I didn’t make a good pitch there,” Wojciechowski
said. “I set him up for a slider and with first base open and
runners on second and third, I just didn’t make a good pitch. He
did something with it, put it in play and got a base hit.”
Marzilli scored on a wild
pitch with two outs to give the Gamecocks a 5-4 lead. Adrian
Morales and Christian Walker both added RBI doubles as USC built
a 7-4 edge.
The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the
eighth, loading the bases with one out. Reliever Matt Price was
able to induce a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat. Price
pitched a perfect ninth to register his eighth save.
Cooper was matched up against another potential
first-rounder in Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss on April 16. Cooper
pitched his first career shutout with 10 strikeouts in a 5-0
Wojciechowski allowed seven
runs, all earned, a career high. He pitched 6.2 innings with
nine hits, one walk and 11 strikeouts.
“You have to credit South Carolina,” said Bulldog
head coach Fred Jordan. “They beat a very good pitcher tonight.
I thought Blake Cooper was by far the difference-maker on their
side of the field.”
Morales finished with three hits and two runs.
Brady Thomas had two hits and four runs for the Gamecocks.
Altman went 3 for 3 for the Bulldogs, while
Jordan finished with two hits.