Omaha, Neb. – South Carolina (46-18) is back on the field at the College World Series on Wednesday night in an elimination game with Kent State (47-19). First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET with the game televised live on ESPN with Mike Patrick, Orel Hershiser and Jessica Mendoza calling the action. It is also available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game,” with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody behind the microphone.
South Carolina – Jordan Montgomery, LHP, Fr. (5-1, 4.05 ERA, 66.2 IP, 9 BB, 51 SO)
Kent State – Tyler Skulina, RHP, So. (11-2, 3.63 ERA, 101.2 IP, 41 BB, 97 SO)
South Carolina and Kent State will meet for the first time since 1997 when the Gamecocks took two of three games vs. the Golden Flashes at Sarge Frye Field. After falling 6-8 in the opener on Feb. 21, the Gamecocks earned wins of 15-8 and 21-4 to win the series in head coach Ray Tanner’s first season at the helm. South Carolina leads the all-time series history 5-2 as well.
Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery is scheduled to make his second appearance of the 2012 postseason. Montgomery won that outing, a start vs. Clemson in the NCAA Regional, as he went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in the 4-3 victory over the Tigers. For the season, Montgomery is 5-1 with a 4.05 ERA and has 51 strikeouts to just nine walks in 66.2 innings pitched. Along with Clemson, Montgomery has also earned wins over The Citadel, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Auburn.
The 2-1 loss to Arkansas was the first defeat this season for the Gamecocks when allowing two runs or less. The Gamecocks are 25-1 on the year when opponents score two runs or less. The Gamecocks also hold a 40-11 record when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 18-0 on the year when scoring in the first inning. South Carolina is 34-5 when scoring first and 37-4 when out-hitting the opponent.
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli has been impressive in the first two games in Omaha and been a steady performer throughout the postseason. Marzilli made a dazzling catch vs. Florida in the CWS opener that was the No. 6 best play on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top 10. He also has been productive with the bat with a pair of doubles in the 7-3 win over Florida along with a RBI triple in the 2-1 loss to Arkansas. Marzilli is the team’s leading hitter in the postseason with a .379 average (11-for-29) with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple and a pair of RBI. For the season, Marzilli is batting .295 (74-for-251) with 14 doubles, four triples and a pair of homers. His on-base percentage is .337 and he leads the team with 13 stolen bases.
Junior infielder LB Dantzler is the team’s second best hitter in the postseason with a .370 average (10-for-27) with six runs scored, three doubles and three RBI. He enters Wednesday night’s game with a six-game hitting streak as well. For the season, Dantzler is hitting .266 (66-for-248) with 36 runs scored, 15 doubles, nine homers and 46 RBI
ONE MORE NOTE ON MARZILLI AND DANTZLER
Marzilli and Dantzler are the two Gamecocks who have started all 64 games for the season. They also have made each start at the same position, Marzilli in center field and Dantzler at third base.
South Carolina has set a school record for one-run games this year as the Gamecocks have played 27 one-run contests. South Carolina is 14-13 in one-run games.
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb has been sensational in Omaha with two strong relief outings. He has hurled six scoreless innings with jus two hits allowed. His scoreless 5.1 scoreless innings was the longest outing of the season in the 2-1 loss to Arkansas. Webb now has 37 appearances for the year, tied for second highest in school history behind the school record of 50 set by John Taylor in 2011.
Junior first baseman Christian Walker leads the Gamecocks in hitting with a .316 average (71-for-225) with 11 doubles, a pair of triples and 11 homers as well as 54 RBI. He also leads the team in on-base percentage (.443) and slugging percentage (.529). He is now at 242 career hits, just three shy of Hank Small (1972-75), who is 10th on the All-Time list at South Carolina with 245. He is also ninth on the All-Time list at South Carolina with 163 singles.
Walker has put together 22 career hits at the College World Series and is six short of the record of 28 set by Dustin Ackley of North Carolina.
THE LAST THREE YEARS
South Carolina’s 27-2 record over the last three years in the NCAA Tournament is the best three-year tournament winning percentage in NCAA history (must appear in tournament in at least two of the three years to qualify).
Senior left-hander Michael Roth improved to 8-1 on the year with the victory vs. Florida on Saturday night. With the win, Roth became just the fourth pitcher in history with a CWS win in three different seasons (2010, 2011, 2012). The others to accomplish the feat are Carl Thomas of Arizona (1954, 1955, 1956), Greg Widman of Southern California (1970, 1971, 1972) and Allan Westfall of Miami (1994, 1995, 1996).
Roth is now 25-6 for his career at South Carolina. He has 338.2 career innings, ninth highest in school history with 92 career appearances as a Gamecocks, second only to current teammate Matt Price.
Junior right-hander Matt Price hurled two scoreless innings of relief in the 7-3 win over Florida. The save was Price’s 12th of the season and his 42nd career save. He surpassed Josh Fields of Georgia (2005-08) for the all-time SEC record with the save on Saturday night and sits at eighth all-time in NCAA history.
Price is 4-4 on the year with a 3.38 ERA and 12 saves in 72.0 innings pitched. He has 85 strikeouts to just 29 walks with opponents hitting just .198 against him.
Over three seasons, Price has made 18 relief appearances in the NCAA Tournament and he has not allowed a run in 16 of those 18 relief appearances.
Freshman outfielder Tanner English leads the Gamecocks with 23 multi-hit games. He was 2-for-3 in the 7-3 win over Florida. For the season, English is hitting .306 (70-for-229); second highest batting average on the year with 41 runs scored and 22 RBI. He also has stolen 10 bases.