South Carolina pummels Liberty

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COLUMBIA — Jordan Montgomery had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings, Kyle Martin drove in four runs and South Carolina took control of the Columbia regional with a 19-3 victory over Liberty on Saturday night.

South Carolina's Chase Vergason steals second base as Liberty's Dalton Britt (left) and Bryan Aanderud can't flag down a throw in the Gamecocks' three-run first.  MARY ANN CHASTAIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARY ANN CHASTAIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
South Carolina's Chase Vergason steals second base as Liberty's Dalton Britt (left) and Bryan Aanderud can't flag down a throw in the Gamecocks' three-run first.

The Gamecocks (41-18) set a school record for runs in an NCAA game and took their 26th consecutive tournament home win. They try for No. 27 – and the regional title – on tonight against Liberty or Clemson.

The Flames (35-28) face the Tigers (40-21) in an elimination game to start today’s play. That winner would have to beat the Gamecocks (41-18) twice at Carolina Stadium – something no one’s done in the postseason since 2002.

South Carolina turned up its offense with home runs by Martin, Tanner English and Max Schrock. Not that they needed them all with the way Montgomery (5-1) threw as he retired 18 of the last 19 hitters he faced.

CLEMSON 10, SAINT LOUIS 2

Steve Wilkerson hit two homers and drove in five runs to lead Clemson (40-21) over Saint Louis (41-21), eliminating the Atlantic 10 Tournament champions from the Columbia Regional.

The Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak and will face either Liberty or rival South Carolina in an elimination game today.

Clemson avoided its first 0-2 NCAA regional since 1981.

Wilkerson was a big reason why. He put the Tigers ahead with a two-run blast to right in the third inning and added a three-run homer in the fourth that gave Clemson a 6-1 lead.

Shane Kennedy added a solo homer for Clemson. Daniel Gossett (10-4) gave up five hits and two runs in six innings to pick up the victory.

Saint Louis has lost nine consecutive NCAA Tourna­ment games since reaching the College World Series in 1965.

NASHVILLE REGIONAL

GEORGIA TECH 5,

EAST TENNESSEE STATE 1

Buck Farmer and Jona­than Roberts combined on a three-hitter, leading Georgia Tech (35-26) over East Tennessee State (36-24) in an NCAA regional elimination game.

The right-handed duo combined for 12 strikeouts and retired 11 consecutive batters during one stretch. Farmer (9-4) allowed just two singles and struck out eight in six innings.

Farmer did not return after a lightning delay lasted 1 hour, 48 minutes in the seventh inning.

Roberts finished the game to pick up his second save despite allowing an unearned run in the ninth.

Brad Thomas and Mott Hyde each had two hits and drove in a run for Georgia Tech.

East Tennessee starter Kerry Doane (13-2) lost for the first time since March 16. After winning seven in a row and earning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament title, the Buccaneers mustered just two runs in two losses in their first regional since 1981.

MERCER IS ELIMINATED FROM REGIONAL IN STARKVILLE

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Jonathan Davis scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error in the 11th inning to lead Central Arkansas to a 6-5 victory over Mercer in an NCAA regional elimination game Saturday.

Central Arkansas led 5-1 before allowing three runs in the seventh. Mercer (43-18) tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on Chesny Young’s run-scoring double.

In the 11th, Davis reached on an error and stole second. Ethan Harris’ groundout advanced Davis to third, and C.J. Reed overthrew home plate after catching a pop up, allowing Davis to score.

The loss eliminated Mercer (43-18) from the tournament.


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