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Smashing!

GAMECOCK BASEBALL RACKS UP 33 RUNS IN TWO GAMES … The University of South Carolina baseball team – which rallied in the top of the ninth inning to win an elimination game against Duke on Saturday – wasn’t in the mood for any late inning drama on Sunday. The fourteenth-ranked Gamecocks exploded…

GAMECOCK BASEBALL RACKS UP 33 RUNS IN TWO GAMES …

The University of South Carolina baseball team – which rallied in the top of the ninth inning to win an elimination game against Duke on Saturday – wasn’t in the mood for any late inning drama on Sunday.

The fourteenth-ranked Gamecocks exploded for 33 runs in a pair of do-or-die postseason games, setting up a winner-take-all tilt against the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) on Monday night.

Head coach Chad Holbrook‘s squad defeated Rhode Island 23-2 in the first game on Sunday – avenging an earlier loss to the Rams in record-breaking fashion.  In the second game of the day they downed UNCW 10-1, dealing the Seahawks their first loss of the postseason.

Both the Gamecocks (45-16) and Seahawks (41-18) now have one loss in the Columbia, S.C. regional – meaning the winner of Monday night’s game will advance to the Super Regional round while the loser will be bounced from the double elimination tournament.

First-time starter Tyler Johnson (bio) – a right-handed sophomore from Midlothian, Virginia – hurled a complete game against UNCW, surrendering just one run on five hits with a whopping eleven strikeouts.  Junior right fielder Gene Cone (bio) led the Gamecock offense with a double and three runs batted in.

In South Carolina’s drubbing of Rhode Island, freshman right-hander Adam Hill (bio) threw seven solid innings while the Gamecock offense was paced by senior third baseman DC Arendas (bio) – who went 4-for-4 with a triple, a home run and three RBI.

Gamecock fans certainly hope their team saved some offense for Monday night’s regional finale … as pressure is mounting on the program to reorient its trajectory.

After winning national championships in 2010 and 2011 (and finishing second in the 2012 College World Series), the Gamecocks have been on a downward slide the past four seasons.  In fact Holbrook’s team is looking to make the Super Regional round for the first time since 2013 – when they were bounced by North Carolina during his first year at the helm.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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