Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

June 20, 2002

AP Sports Writer

OMAHA, Neb. – After opening the College World Series with a loss that put South Carolina on the verge of elimination, the Gamecocks are one victory from the championship game.

South Carolina stayed alive in the CWS by beating Clemson 12-4 Wednesday, ensuring at least one game Friday. If Stanford beats Texas on Thursday there will be a doubleheader, with the winners advancing to Saturday’s championship.

The Gamecocks were elated to still be in the tournament after opening it with an 11-0 loss to Georgia Tech. Beating their state rival made the victory all the more satisfying.

“It’s very, very intense and it’s going to be even more so on Friday,” said Trey Dyson, who hit two two-run homers for the Gamecocks. “It’s a one-game shot at the national championship.”

Landon Powell and Steve Thomas added solo homers for the Gamecocks (56-17). Matt Campbell (4-2) shut out the Tigers over the final 5 1-3 innings and struck out a career-high eight.

The rivalry got even more intense Wednesday when warnings were issued to both dugouts in the first inning after brushback pitches.

The Gamecocks fueled it further with a late steal while leading by seven runs and a couple of flipped bats after homers. A few players also tossed their hats out of the dugout when Campbell struck out the side in the fifth.

“It’s very, very intense and it’s going to be even more so on Friday. It’s a one-game shot at the national championship.”
Trey Dyson

“We’ve got something for Friday. We’ll be ready to play,” said Clemson coach Jack Leggett, who was most upset about the tribute to Campell’s “hat trick.”

The Gamecocks outhit the Tigers 15-9 and Clemson (54-16) left 12 men on, leaving the bases loaded three times.

“We started out fine. We were playing real well then we just seemed to hit a wall with runners on base,” Leggett said. “If we want to compete for a national championship we’re going to have to come out with national championship caliber competition.”

Zane Green hit the first pitch of the game for a homer and Michael Johnson added a two-run homer in the third that put Clemson up 3-0.

Steve Reba (13-4) yielded Thomas’ leadoff homer in sixth that broke a 4-all tie and started a five-run inning. South Carolina added three more runs in the eighth, including Powell’s 12th homer of the season, and improved to 2-3 against Clemson this year.

Thursday’s game is also a bit of a rivalry, although the schools are in different conferences and no where near each other.

Because of two regular-season series and a meeting in last year’s NCAA regional round, Texas and Stanford have played 10 times during the past two seasons.

The most recent was the Longhorns’ 8-7 victory on Monday that put Texas within range of its first CWS title game since 1989. A second straight win over the Cardinal would put Texas in Saturday’s game.

“I think we do have a rivalry with them,” Texas catcher Ryan Hubele said. “They’re a great ballclub, one of the elite programs in the nation. We’re up there also.”

Stanford holds a 6-4 edge in the recent series, but that will mean little unless the Cardinal win Thursday and again on Friday and advance to their third straight CWS title game.

“It’s special when you play someone you respect and we respect them. We’ve had great series with them,” Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. “It’s a great tradition and it should be a good game.”