June 21, 2012

CWS Game 12 Notes

CBI Live: #8 South Carolina 4, Kent State 1


Montgomery, defense help Gamecocks blank Razorbacks

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder



OMAHA, Neb. – It was quite the doubleheader for No. 8 South Carolina.


After senior left-hander Michael Roth tossed a two-hitter earlier in the day against Kent State, freshman lefty Jordan Montgomery pitched eight shutout innings as the Gamecocks blanked Arkansas 2-0 Thursday evening at the 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.


“For the second time today we got an absolute wonderful game out of our lefty,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “Jordan followed up what Michael did earlier today. He was outstanding. He's had some good games for us this year, and this was the best one.”


The Razorbacks (46-21) and the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks (48-18) will meet again on Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m. CT for a spot in the championship series against Arizona.


South Carolina is the first team in 60 years to win two CWS games in one day. Holy Cross won twice on June 15, 1952.


Montgomery (6-1) allowed three hits and one walk while striking out six.


“You've got to give credit to Montgomery,” said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. “He pitched a great ballgame. He kept us off balance with the changeup away and threw that breaking ball a little bit. He would bust the seam with that fastball when we started thinking about getting out over the plate, trying to get on that changeup. He just did a great job.”


Junior right-hander Matt Price worked a hitless ninth with one walk and two strikeouts to register his 13th save.


South Carolina scored both its runs in the top of the second. Erik Payne led off with a double to left and Tanner English followed with a two-bagger to plate Payne with the game’s first run. English moved to third on a groundout and came home on a single by Chase Vergason (2 for 4) to make it 2-0.


The Gamecock defense made several outstanding defensive plays. In the fifth, Bo Bigham was hit by a pitch with two away. Derrick Bleeker singled to left and Bigham tried to take third, but was gunned down by English.


“When he hit that ball,” English said, “I really didn't think he was going to go to third. I looked up and he was rounding the base hard. I let it go and L.B. [Dantzler] made a good scoop over there.”


Matt Vinson started the sixth with a base hit for Arkansas. Jake Wise lined out to short and the relay throw beat Vinson to the bag for a double play.


Brian Anderson walked on four pitches to begin the eighth. Bigham hit a ball that looked to be ticketed for the right field corner. First baseman Christian Walker (2 for 4) made a diving stop on the first-base bag for the initial out, jumped up and threw a strike to second to nail the sliding Anderson for the double play. What could have been second and third with no outs was two away with the bases empty.


“I expected to do more of a drop step,” Walker said, “but my feet got stuck and it made it look more like a dive, so it ended up working out. Jordan was getting ground balls all day. He was working both sides of the plate. And especially with a righty up, I knew not to expect something just to the left side. And luckily I was in the right spot.”


 “We had some pretty solid defense behind him,” Tanner said. “A couple big double plays, and the play that Walker made late in the game was huge.”


(photo by Jimmy Jones)