June 22, 2012

CWS Game 13 Notes


Gamecocks nip Razorbacks, return to championship series

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


Photo by Pete LaFleur, CollegeBaseball360.com, @CB360updates


OMAHA, Neb. – The champs get another chance to repeat.


Two-time defending national champion South Carolina edged Arkansas 3-2 Friday in the 2012 College World Series in front of 22,184 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.


The No. 8 Gamecocks (49-18) will face Arizona in the best-of-three championship series beginning on Sunday, June 24, at 7 p.m. CT. The Razorbacks finished 46-22.


“Obviously that game could have gone either way,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “That was one of those typical SEC battles on this stage. And both teams had opportunities to win.”


Junior right-hander Matt Price (5-4) allowed one hit in three scoreless innings with five strikeouts to record the victory. It was the fifth career CWS win for Price (pictured above), a record.


“When I came in,” Price said, “I was trying to control the game, keeping my tempo the same, and just go out there and try to get the team a win.”

Junior right-hander Colby Holmes (2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 K) worked into the third in the start for South Carolina. Junior lefty Tyler Webb (2 H, 2 BB, 3 K) pitched four shutout innings for the Gamecocks.


“We felt like for us to have a chance to win,” Tanner said, “we had to get nine innings out of Holmes, Webb and Price, two or three apiece, and it kind of worked out that way.”


Sophomore right-hander Colby Suggs (7-1) suffered the loss, allowing 1 run in two hitless innings with three walks and one strikeout. Junior righty D.J. Baxendale (4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 2 K) pitched into the fifth for Arkansas.


The Razorbacks got on the board in the top of the first against Holmes. Tim Carver had a leadoff single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a base hit by Matt Reynolds as Arkansas took a quick 1-0 lead.


Arkansas added to its lead in the third. Jake Wise was hit by a pitch to start the frame and went to third on a double by Carver. One out later, Reynolds lifted a ball to right on which Adam Matthews made a great sliding catch. It turned into a sac fly as Wise came in to make it a 2-0 game.


The Gamecocks tied it in the bottom of the fifth against Baxendale. Tanner English led off with a single and stole second. Chase Vergason drew a one-out walk. Joey Pankake lined a single to center to drive in English with the first run. Evan Marzilli walked and Christian Walker drew a base on balls to force in Vergason with the tying run.


South Carolina took the lead in the seventh. Pankake drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Marzilli also walked. With two away, closer Barrett Astin entered for Arkansas. L.B. Dantzler singled off the glove of Astin to load the bases. Matthews walked to force in Pankake with the go-ahead run.


“Honestly, I thought I better do something or I'm never going to be able to live in Columbia again,” Matthews said. “He threw me some good pitches that I watched. And he threw me a good slider there at the end that I held off of and fortunately I walked.”


Pankake finished with two hits for the Gamecocks, while Carver went 2 for 4 for the Razorbacks.


“I thought it was a great college baseball game again,” said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. “And if you like outstanding pitching and outstanding defense, I thought it was very well played. It could have gone either way.”