June 12, 2016
Box Score // Quotes // Regional Central
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina fell to Oklahoma State, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon in Game 2 of the NCAA Columbia Super Regional. With the victory, the Cowboys take the series 2-0, while South Carolina is eliminated from the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Much like Game 1 on Saturday afternoon, Sunday’s contest was a pitching-heavy affair, as both teams scored in just one inning. But the Cowboys (41-20) plated three runs in the 5th thanks in part to a pair of South Carolina (46-18) errors, and the Gamecocks were unable to come back.
Oklahoma State advances to the College World Series with the win. This is the 20th appearance all-time for the Cowboys and their first since 1999.
Junior right-hander Tyler Buffett (8-3) took the victory on the mound, allowing one run while striking out four in 7.0 innings of work. Junior right-hander Trey Cobb pitched a scoreless 9th inning to earn his fifth save of the season and his second in as many games.
Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt (9-5) was the hard-luck losing pitcher; he gave up three runs in 6.0 innings while striking out six.
Senior Marcus Mooney was 3-for-4 at the plate in his final contest as a Gamecock, while fellow senior DC Arendas was 2-for-3. Gene Cone scored the lone run of the game for South Carolina.
Both teams struggled to score throughout the first half of the game. South Carolina left multiple runners on base in the 4th and 5th innings, and Oklahoma State did the same in the 2nd and 4th before breaking through.
The Cowboys broke the scoring threshold in the bottom of the 5th inning. A Carolina throwing error opened the door for OSU, putting runners on the corners with one out. A successful squeeze bunt by Corey Hassel brought the first run home, and Donnie Walton’s RBI single doubled the tally. One batter later, another Gamecock throwing error on an OSU steal attempt helped Hassel trot home, and the Cowboys took a 3-0 lead.
South Carolina had a great opportunity to get on the board in the 7th, putting two on with only one out. But Buffett induced an inning-ending double play groundout, keeping the score 3-0.
The Gamecocks once again threatened in the 8th inning, as the first two batters reached to chase Buffett from the game. South Carolina brought one of the runners home as the new pitcher, Michael Mertz, issued a wild pitch that scored Cone. But TJ Hopkins was left stranded at third, and the deficit was still 3-1.
South Carolina tried to mount a two-out rally in the 9th inning, as Arendas walked and Mooney singled. Cone stepped in representing the go-ahead run, and though he scorched Cobb’s 2-1 pitch, it was right at Oklahoma State second baseman J.R. Davis, who made the catch to end the game.
Schmidt finished the season with 129 strikeouts, seventh-most in a season in Carolina history.
South Carolina’s 46 victories this season are the most under head coach Chad Holbrook.
For South Carolina, the season ends with a 46-18 record. Oklahoma State advances to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., where they will face UC Santa Barbara in the opening round.