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Gamecocks drop Tigers 5-4 in extra inning thriller


  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, June 2, 2012 8:56 PM
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COLUMBIA – Clemson and South Carolina locked up in another classic battle Saturday afternoon in Columbia, and in what has become a trend in their postseason battles, the Gamecocks came out ahead.

L.B. Dantzler, hitting with runners at the corners and one out in the bottom of the 12th inning of the NCAA Regional, drilled a Kevin BradyKevin Brady
RS Jr. RH Pitcher
#19 6-3, 220
Gaithersburg, MS

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pitched off the wall in right to score Joey Pankake in a 5-4 thriller at Carolina Stadium.

It was South Carolina’s fifth consecutive win over the Tigers in the postseason, and 17th in the last 24 games between the rivals. The Gamecocks now await the winner of the Clemson and Coastal Carolina game that starts at noon Sunday. The winner of that game would have to beat South Carolina twice in order to reach a Super Regional.

“Anybody who enjoys good baseball, who is a baseball fan, that is a good baseball,” Clemson head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
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said. “That was fun to watch whether you are a Clemson fan or a South Carolina fan. That is the way I am going to think about it, and we have to come back tomorrow and play well against a Coastal team that played well today.”

The teams were scoreless through the first inning, but a controversial call against Clemson ended a Clemson scoring threat in the top of the second.

Phil PohlPhil Pohl
Sr. Catcher
#9 5-11, 215
Cooperstown, NY

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led off the inning with a sharp single up the middle, and consecutive walks to Jay BaumJay Baum
Fr. Infielder
#13 5-11, 180
Alpharetta, GA

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and John McGibbon loaded the bases with nobody out. Spencer KieboomSpencer Kieboom
Jr. Catcher
#22 6-0, 220
Marietta, GA

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stepped to the plate, and his sharp grounder to short appeared to end in a double play that scored Pohl with the game’s first run.

However, the second base umpire immediately raised his arms and called McGibbon for interference on the play – saying he grabbed the second baseman – and the result was that the runners on second and third had to return to their respective bases with the two out. Brad FelderBrad Felder
Gr. Outfielder
#3 6-0, 200
Bowman, SC

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then flied out to end the threat.

“That was where I thought we really had Roth on the ropes right there,” Leggett said. “We played 62 games this year and we haven’t had a call like that all year. This was a tough time to have that one called. I wasn’t feeling that one too much. Little things like that make a difference, and that was a tough pill to swallow at that time in the game. It was a big moment.”

Gossett was spotless through the first three innings, but gave up a two-out walk to Dantzler. Austin Matthews made him pay with a two-run shot to left that gave the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.

Roth gave up back-to-back singles to begin the seventh inning, and then Jason StolzJason Stolz
Sr. Infielder
#2 6-2, 205
Marietta, GA

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’ bunt was fielded by Roth, who threw to third to get Kieboom. Wilkerson doubled down the third baseline to give the Tigers their first run of the game. Brittle singled down the left side to score Stolz, tying the game at 2-2. Matt Price came into the game for Roth with one out, and he walked Shaffer to load the bases.


Phil Pohl, Friday’s grand slam hero, grounded up the middle to force Shaffer at second, but the throw to first was high, allowing Wilkerson to score and giving Clemson a 3-2 lead.

The loss overshadowed a dominant pitching performance by freshman Daniel GossettDaniel Gossett
Fr. RH Pitcher
#23 6-0, 160
Lyman, SC

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, who out-pitched usual postseason nemesis Michael Roth. Gossett went seven strong innings, giving up just two earned runs while striking out eight.

Gossett said he was proud of his performance.

“I thought my stuff was working,” Gossett said. “I was just trying to pitch the way I know how. It was not that I out-pitched Roth – it was just a great team game. It was defense all day, offense all day. I was just able to make the pitches when I needed to. Clemson and Carolina is a huge rivalry, and I knew I had to keep my focus.”

Brad Felder, who in the previous half inning ended a Carolina threat with a rolling catch on the warning track, launched a solo shot to right and into the adjacent parking lot giving Clemson a 4-2 lead.

Scott FirthScott Firth
Jr. RH Pitcher
#20 6-0, 165
Buffalo Grove, IL

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came into pitch and gave up a first pitch single to Evan Marzilli. Christian Walker laced a ball past Shaffer scoring Marzilli from first to close the score to 4-3. After just five pitches, Joseph MoorefieldJoseph Moorefield
RS Jr. LH Pitcher
#51 6-1, 205
Woodruff, SC

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came into pitch for the Tigers with a runner on second. Moorefield caught a fly ball for the first out of the inning. Jonathan MeyerJonathan Meyer
Jr. RH Pitcher
#28 6-0, 180
San Diego, CA

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came on to pitch and recorded the final two outs of the inning without further damage.

Kyle Martin led off the ninth inning with a flare single to right field. Vergason came in with the intentions of bunting, but Meyer walked him on five pitches. Rosenberg bunted the runners over to second and third. Pankake doubled to center scoring the tying run, but Brittle threw Vergason out at home as he slid wide of the plate. Marzilli then flied out to center.

Clemson had its chance to win in the final innings, but stranded runners in both the 10th and 11th, setting up Dantzler’s heroics in the bottom of the 12th.

“I am just proud of my team” Leggett said. “I thought we played extremely hard. We pitched really well, we played good defense and we had some good opportunities early in the ball game. We had Roth on the ropes and couldn’t finish him off. Now we have to collect ourselves and get ready for tomorrow.”

Brittle called having to win three games in two days a challenge.

“It is a great challenge,” Brittle said. “We have Coastal tomorrow, and they are a great team. We need to come out and put some runs up early and put the game away early. We have to get our second wind, force another game on Monday and then win that one, too.

Leggett said junior righty Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
Jr. RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 195
Norwich, CT

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would start against Coastal, but hadn’t made a determination of who would start the 4 p.m. game, if necessary.






Clemson 4 (34-27)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Steve Wilkerson 2b.......  4  1  1  1   1  0  5  1   0
Thomas Brittle cf........  6  0  1  1   0  2  4  1   2
Richie Shaffer 3b........  4  0  0  0   2  2  0  2   1
Phil Pohl dh.............  6  0  1  1   0  1  0  0   2
Jay Baum lf..............  1  0  0  0   2  0  1  0   0
 Joe Costigan ph.........  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
 Tyler Slaton pr/lf......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Dominic Attanasio ph/lf.  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Jon McGibbon 1b..........  5  0  1  0   1  1  8  1   4
Spencer Kieboom c........  6  0  1  0   0  1 11  1   0
Brad Felder rf...........  5  2  3  1   0  1  3  0   3
Jason Stolz ss...........  5  1  0  0   0  1  0  3   0
Daniel Gossett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Scott Firth p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Joseph Moorefield p.....  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Jonathan Meyer p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Kevin Brady p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 44  4  8  4   7  9 34  9  12

South Carolina 5 (42-17)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Joey Pankake ss..........  6  1  2  1   0  1  1  4   3
Evan Marzilli cf.........  6  1  3  0   0  1  6  0   1
Christian Walker 1b......  6  0  1  1   0  1 11  1   0
LB Dantzler 3b...........  5  1  2  1   1  1  2  2   1
Adam Matthews rf.........  5  1  2  2   0  1  3  0   1
Sean Sullivan dh.........  5  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   2
Tanner English lf........  3  0  0  0   0  3  1  0   0
 Kyle Martin ph..........  1  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
 TJ Costen pr/lf.........  1  1  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Chase Vergason 2b........  3  0  0  0   2  1  2  6   0
Dante Rosenberg c........  3  0  1  0   1  1  8  1   0
Michael Roth p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
 Matt Price p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Tyler Webb p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Evan Beal p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 44  5 12  5   4 11 36 16  10

Score by Innings                        R  H  E
-----------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 000 000 310 000 -  4  8  0
South Carolina...... 000 200 011 001 -  5 12  2
-----------------------------------------------

Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - DANTZLER(4); VERGASON(4). DP - S. Carolina 1. LOB - Clemson 12; S.
Carolina 10. 2B - WILKERSON(13); McGIBBON(7); WALKER(11); MATTHEWS(5). HR -
FELDER(7); MATTHEWS(5). SH - WILKERSON(4); ROSENBERG(3). SB - BRITTLE(12).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Daniel Gossett......  7.0  4  2  2  3  8 25 28
Scott Firth.........  0.0  2  1  1  0  0  2  2
Joseph Moorefield...  0.1  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
Jonathan Meyer......  1.0  1  1  1  1  0  3  5
Kevin Brady.........  3.0  5  1  1  0  3 13 13

South Carolina         IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Michael Roth........  6.1  6  3  3  4  1 25 29
Matt Price..........  3.1  2  1  1  2  4 12 14
Tyler Webb..........  1.0  0  0  0  1  2  3  5
Evan Beal...........  1.1  0  0  0  0  2  4  4

Win - BEAL (4-4).  Loss - BRADY (1-3).  Save - None.
Umpires - HP: David Wiley  1B: Steve Mattingly  2B: Jim Garman  3B: Greg Charles
 Start: 4:01 PM   Time: 4:06   Attendance: 8242
FIRTH faced 2 batters in the 8th.

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