Gamecocks Top Clemson in Walk-Off Fashion, 5-4
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Junior
LB Dantzler blasted a walk-off single off the right-field wall in the
bottom of the 12th inning, scoring freshman Joey Pankake to lift South
Carolina to a thrilling 5-4 victory over rival Clemson on Saturday in
the 2012 NCAA Columbia Regional at Carolina Stadium.
came through with a leadoff single to begin the 12th. Junior Evan
Marzilli then moved Pankake to third with a single to left center,
setting the stage for Dantzler. After Christian Walker popped up to
right field, Dantzler smashed a 2-2 offering from Kevin Brady to right
to drive in Pankake for the victory in front of a sellout crowd of
With the victory, the Gamecocks improve to 42-17 on the
year and advance to the winner’s bracket final where they will face the
winner of the Clemson-Coastal Carolina game at 4 p.m. on Sunday. South
Carolina extends its NCAA-record of consecutive postseason wins to 18
and is now 10-0 all-time at Carolina Stadium in the postseason. The
Gamecocks have also won 21 consecutive postseason games at home.
The Tigers drop to 34-27 on the season and will play Coastal Carolina in an elimination game on Sunday at noon.
tallied 12 hits on the evening, including a 3-for-6 night from
Marzilli. Dantzler, Pankake and Adam Matthews contributed two hits
apiece. Matthews had two RBIs after delivering his fifth home run of
Clemson collected eight hits in the loss. Brad Felder led the way with three base knocks, including a solo home run.
South Carolina reliever Evan Beal (4-4) worked a perfect 1 1/3 innings to earn the win, striking out two batters.
Brady (1-3) picked up the loss after working three innings and giving up one run and five hits. He also had three strikeouts.
a game that feature big plays in almost every inning, one of the
biggest came early on for the Gamecocks. Carolina starting pitcher
Michael Roth got in a jam in the top of the second inning as he gave up
a single and walked two batters to load the bases with no outs.
However, the Gamecocks turned a huge double play that involved
interference being called on the base runner going to second, forcing
runners to go back to second and third base and taking a run off the
board. Roth was then able to get Spencer Kieboom to fly out to center
field to end the threat.
After getting the Gamecock offense
going in Friday’s win, Matthews was back at it on Saturday as he
delivered a two-out two-run home run to left field in the fourth to
give South Carolina a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers found their offense
in the seventh with a three-run rally to take the lead. With one out
and runners on first and second, Steve Wilkerson lined a double down
the left-field line to drive in one run. Thomas Brittle followed with a
RBI single, and Pohl reached on a fielder’s choice with the bases
loaded to plate another run and give Clemson a 3-2 advantage.
Clemson pushed its lead to 4-2 in the eighth when Felder sent a solo homer over the right-field wall.
Gamecocks pulled to within a run in the home half of the eighth.
Marzilli ripped a single to right field to lead things off. Walker then
doubled down the left-field line, scoring Marzilli from first to make
it a 4-3 ballgame.
Carolina rallied in the ninth to tie the
game. Kyle Martin delivered a pinch-hit single to lead off the frame.
After Chase Vergason drew a walk and Dante Rosenberg laid down a
sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, Pankake lined a
single to center field, scoring pinch runner TJ Costen to tie the game.
Vergason was waved home on the play, but he was thrown out at the plate
to keep the contest knotted at 4-4, as the teams went to extra innings
where Dantzler delivered the game-winning single.
With a victory
on Sunday, the Gamecocks will advance to the Super Regionals for the
third straight year. Both games on Sunday will be televised on ESPNU.
Live stats will be available at GamecocksOnline.com.