USC scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overcome a 3-1 deficit and went on to a 4-3 win over Virginia in game one of the Columbia Regional of the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon. The Gamecocks move into the winner’s bracket Saturday night. George Callil led off the Gamecock sixth with a walk against Virginia starter Andrew Abbott who had limited the Gamecocks to two hits, including a Wes Clarke homer in the first. After getting two outs, Abbott faced Clarke again, and again the Gamecock slugger got to him. Clarke lined a double to left center that hopped the fence forcing Callil to return to third. Josiah Sightler followed with his own ground-rule double down the right field line, driving in two and tying the game at three. Abbott was pulled at that point for Kyle Whitten. He walked Brennan Milone on a 3-2 pitch, and Colin Burgess followed with an RBI single to left for a 4-3 Gamecock lead. The game now was in the right hand of Gamecock reliever Daniel Lloyd who replaced fellow reliever Julian Bosnic to start the seventh. And Lloyd was lights out. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, and he was bunted to second. But Lloyd got a strike out and a ground out to end that inning, and retired the final six Cavalier batters, including striking out the side in the ninth.
Clarke was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Thursday. It’s the second year in a row the publication has named Clarke a third team AA. Going into the regional, Clarke was batting .275. His 23 home runs are tops in the nation.
Junior golfer Ryan Hall was named a PING First Team All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America. He joins PGA TOUR player Matt NeSmith (2016) as the only players in program history to be named PING First Team All-Americans.
Speaking of accolades, freshman Rachel Glenn has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Female Field Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season. Glenn won the SEC high jump title at the outdoor meet in May. She was the runner-up in the NCAA Indoor Championships. She earned a pair of All-America honors during the indoor season, grabbing the national runner-up finish in the high jump while also grabbing a First Team All-America distinction in the 4x400m relay. Glenn will also serve as an alternate on Carolina's 4x400m relay team in Eugene, OR for next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Five other women advance to the NCAAs from last week at the East Regional in Jacksonville: Stephanie Davis and Aliyah Abrams in the 400 meters; De’Andreah Young and Ashton Lindley in the 400 meter hurdles; and Alysia Johnson makes the trip as part of the 4x400 meter relay team.
The men’s team will have three performers at the Outdoors next week. Malik Paul in the discus, William Spencer Jr. in the 400 meter hurdles and Eric Favors in the shot put qualified for the nationals last week at the East Regional.
The men’s tennis team earned a No. 13 final national ranking this week, the highest ranking since 1989. The Gamecocks reached the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament last month, and Daniel Rodriques, who finished ranked at No. 3, lost in the finals of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Women’s golfer Ana Pelaez is playing this week at the US Women’s Open in San Francisco. Pelaez this season earned WGCA Second Team All-America honors in addition to her All-SEC First Team distinction. Pelaez finished the season with a 71.45 scoring average on the year, and the third lowest scoring average in program history at 73.35.
Members of the football team have reported back to campus for summer school. In addition, many of the players assist in summer camps that will be taking place this month. Shane Beamer and his staff also are hosting dozens of official and unofficial visits from recruits in June.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams also are staging camps this month and entertaining recruits on visits as well.