2-time champ S. Carolina heading back to College World Series finals after 3-2 win over Hogs

  • Article by: ERIC OLSON , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 23, 2012 - 9:27 AM

OMAHA, Neb. - Tyler Webb and Matt Price combined for seven innings of shutout relief, and two-time defending national champion South Carolina returned to the College World Series finals with a 3-2 win over Arkansas on Friday night.

The Gamecocks (49-18) took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning on Barrett Astin's two-out, bases-loaded walk to Adam Matthews.

South Carolina will play Arizona in the best-of-three finals beginning Sunday. The Gamecocks are trying to become the first team to win three titles in a row since Southern California won five straight from 1970-74.

The Gamecocks beat Arkansas twice in three CWS meetings over five days after winning two of three against the Razorbacks during the Southeastern Conference regular season.

Arkansas had ended South Carolina's record 22-game win streak in the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 win on Monday. The Gamecocks forced a second bracket championship game with their 2-0 win on Thursday.

"Obviously that game could have gone either way," Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner said. "That was one of those typical SEC battles on this stage. And both teams had opportunities to win. We just felt like for us to have a chance to win, we had to get nine innings out of (Colby) Holmes, Webb and Price, two or three apiece, and it kind of worked out that way. We felt we had to hold them to three, four runs max to have a chance to win. And it just kind of happened exactly like that."

As expected, Friday's rematch came down to pitching.

The Gamecocks erased a 2-0 deficit in the fifth, with Arkansas starter DJ Baxendale walking Christian Walker with the bases loaded to force in the tying run. Baxendale had a career-high five walks.

Matthews looked ready to swing on a 3-2 pitch from Astin in the seventh, but he held up as the slider dropped low and Joey Pankake trotted home for the go-ahead run.

The run ended the Arkansas bullpen's streak of 26 scoreless innings and came on the ninth walk issued by the Razorbacks.

"South Carolina did a great job of manufacturing a run there late to win the game or to get the lead to end up being the winning run," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I just feel bad for our players. They fought hard."

Matthews also had come up with the bases loaded two times earlier in the game. He hit into an inning-ending double play in the first, and he struck out to end the fifth.

Matthews said he felt the pressure as he walked to the plate in the seventh.

"I better do something or I'm never going to be able to live in Columbia again," he said. "I was telling coach Tanner before we came in that I left a small village of those guys on bases. He threw me some good pitches that I watched. And he threw me a good slider there at the end that I held off of and fortunately I walked."

Colby Suggs (7-1) took the loss for Arkansas (46-22).

Webb, who relieved Colby Holmes after the Hogs' first two batters reached in the third, allowed two hits in four innings.

Price (5-4), who gave up one hit and struck out five, pitched three innings to earn his record fifth career win in the CWS.

"Speechless. I know how many great pitchers have been through the College World Series," Price said. "And even though I've been coming out of the bullpen, probably vulturing some wins I guess you would say, but just giving our team a chance to win is what matters to me most."

Of Price's 48 pitches, 37 were strikes.

Price was spectacular for the second year in a row in the bracket final. Last year he entered a 2-2 game against Virginia and worked 5 2-3 scoreless innings in a 3-2, 13-inning victory.

"I knew it was going to be tight and it didn't surprise me it ended up being a one-run game, and we played so many," Van Horn said. "Hats off to the pitchers. I thought they did a great job. I thought they filled up the zone all night long."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 8th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 84 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 114 FINAL
Orlando 119
Utah 89 FINAL
Philadelphia 83
Miami 97 FINAL
Washington 99
Toronto 94 FINAL
Charlotte 103
Cleveland 83 4th Qtr 8:29
Atlanta 91
Boston 71 4th Qtr
New Orleans 68
Detroit 62 3rd Qtr 3:15
Houston 71
LA Lakers 69 3rd Qtr 0:51
Memphis 67
Phoenix 62 3rd Qtr 5:15
Brooklyn 59
Denver 60 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 65
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 3 FINAL
New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 FINAL
Carolina 1
Buffalo 2 3rd Prd 13:50
Ottawa 3
Calgary 4 3rd Prd 13:05
Detroit 2
Edmonton 1 2nd Prd 14:17
Chicago 0
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 71 FINAL
Ball State 67
Bowling Green 75 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Brown 69 FINAL
Dartmouth 75
Toledo 59 FINAL
Eastern Mich 85
Akron 77 FINAL
Kent State 79
Ill-Chicago 72 FINAL
Oakland 69
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 46 FINAL
Penn 54
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 62 FINAL
Western Mich 74
Bradley 46 FINAL
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 77 2nd Half 0:22
Murray State 78
Yale 43 2nd Half 5:14
Harvard 39
Furman 38 2nd Half
Citadel 27
Coll of Charleston 24 2nd Half
Drexel 29
UNC-Asheville 31 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 27
Texas Tech 30 1st Half 3:39
Baylor 27
Pacific 24 1st Half 2:41
San Francisco 21
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Loyola-Chicago 0 1st Half 20:00
Indiana State 0
Belmont 9:00 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 59 FINAL
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
USC Upstate 45 FINAL
Northern Ky 64
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Nebraska 65 FINAL
(14) Iowa 74
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Colgate 45 FINAL
Army 48
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
Dartmouth 71 FINAL
Brown 53
Penn 50 FINAL
Columbia 34
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Kansas 49 FINAL
Kansas State 57
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
(15) North Carolina 47 2nd Half 11:43
(10) Louisville 42
San Jose St 80 2nd Half 7:27
UNLV 76
Houston 10 2nd Half
Tulane 30
Utah State 33 1st Half 4:26
Colorado State 33
Colorado 30 1st Half 5:42
(8) Oregon State 20
New Mexico 26 1st Half 3:13
Wyoming 23
Minnesota 6 1st Half 16:59
Ohio State 7
(12) Kentucky 9 1st Half 14:52
(11) Miss State 15
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 5 1st Half 17:19
Fairfield 4
Texas Tech 0 1st Half 20:00
West Virginia 0
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

Countdown to great deals

Bid March 15-23

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

    ADVERTISEMENT

     
    Close