COLUMBIA — Was it going to be any other way?
The year’s fourth installment of the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry had three lead changes and went to extra innings, culminating with LB Dantzler’s game-winning double off of the right-field wall in the 12th inning to give the Gamecocks a 5-4 win.
South Carolina is now in an ideal position heading into today’s winner’s bracket game at 4 p.m. The Gamecocks added to their record NCAA Tournament winning streak, now standing at 18. It was South Carolina’s 24th consecutive tournament win at home.
Clemson suffered a considerable emotional blow, and an exhausted bullpen must now meet a more rested Coastal Carolina team at noon today in an elimination game. The winner of that game will face South Carolina, needing to win twice to advance to the super regionals.
Daniel Gossett and Michael Roth both pitched well but neither factored into the decision.
Gossett was in position for the win before the bullpen blew a ninth-inning lead. He left with the lead after throwing seven innings, allowing just four hits, two runs, three walks while striking out eight.
The freshman induced 12 swings-and-misses of his 103 pitches, which is an excellent ratio.
In his previous three outings, Gossett had combined for a line of 17⅓ innings pitched, 11 hits allowed, three runs, 13 walks and 16 strikeouts. The prize of Clemson’s last recruiting class has some of the most arm talent on the team as seen by his 16th round draft selection by the Boston Red Sox last June.
Roth, one of the best college pitcher’s in postseason history, entered with a 0.77 ERA against Clemson.
Roth finished with a final line of 6⅓ innings pitched, six hits and three runs allowed, four walks and one strikeout.
Brad Felder, who made two stellar defensive plays, launched a solo home run in the eighth to give Clemson a 4-2 lead.
Adam Matthews had a home run among his two hits for the Gamecocks.