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June 22, 2010

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College World Series Central

Post-Game Press Conference

Omaha, Neb. – South Carolina pounded out eight runs on eight hits in the bottom of the second inning and starting pitcher Sam Dyson had a quality start with 7.1 innings of work as the Gamecocks defeated Arizona State 11-4 on Tuesday afternoon in an elimination game at the College World Series. South Carolina is now 49-16 while the No. 1 National seed Arizona State ends its season with a 52-10 record. Carolina will face the loser of tonight’s Arizona State-Clemson game on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET in an elimination game that will be televised live on ESPN2HD.

Jackie Bradley Jr., Whit Merrifield and Adrian Morales all had home runs for the Gamecocks spearheading a 14-hit attack. Bradley finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI. That four RBI ties his career-high; it is the seventh time he has reached the mark. Merrifield finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Both Evan Marzilli and Adrian Morales each tallied two hits as well. All nine position starters reached base at least once with eight of nine tallying at least one hit. Arizona State was led by Deven Marrero’s 3-for-4 day at the plate.

Dyson allowed just four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He is now 6-5 on the year. Arizona State starter Merrill Kelly lasted only 1.2 innings and allowed eight runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts in the loss. He is now 10-3 on the year.

“I’m very proud of our team today to bounce back from a tough loss the other night,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “We played, arguably, one of the better teams in the country. (Arizona State) has been there the entire season. Certainly a difficult task for us today. Sam Dyson was outstanding. If you look at his line score, it’s impressive. But the fact that he only had three or four strikeouts against those guys, against a lot of teams, he would have had eight or nine strikeouts today, maybe even 10. That’s how good (Arizona State) is. He pitched really well and they kept fighting back.”

The big frame for South Carolina was the second inning as the Gamecock bats struck for eight hits, the most hits in an inning for Carolina this year as South Carolina broke ahead 8-0 on Arizona State. Adrian Morales and Kyle Enders each singled to start things off for Carolina. With both runners on first and second base and one out, Scott Wingo drove a RBI double down the left field line scoring both Morales and Enders. It marked Wingo’s first multi-RBI game since April 30 vs. Alabama. After an Evan Marzilli single, Whit Merrifield knocked a RBI single over the first baseman’s head allowing Wingo to score and increasing Carolina’s lead to 3-0. Jackie Bradley Jr. had the big hit in the inning then as he drove a three-run homer to left center for his team-leading 13th round tripper of the year and his second of the College World Series. That wouldn’t be the only home run of the inning though as Morales connected with a two-run blast to left field off the foul pole giving Carolina the eight-run cushion. That home run was also Morales’ second hit of the inning and his ninth home run of the year.

Carolina increased the advantage to 10-0 in the third inning. Bobby Haney led off with a double followed by a walk to Wingo and Marzilli reaching on a hit by pitch. With one out, the Gamecocks scored as Bradley also reached base on a hit by pitch that scored Wingo. That was followed up by a walk to Christian Walker scoring Marzilli.

Arizona State scored twice in the fifth inning to cut Carolina’s lead to 10-2. Austin Barnes and Drew Maggi each tallied RBI singles. The Sun Devils would add two more runs in the eighth inning with Deven Marrerro and Matt Newman collecting RBI singles. Arizona State would load the bases but Gamecock reliever Matt Price got out of the jam with consecutive strikeouts against Austin Barnes and Drew Maggi to limit ASU.

Carolina closed the scoring out in the bottom of the eighth as Whit Merrifield launched a solo home run to left field, his 13th homer of the year.