With Manhattan’s Taylor Sewitt entering the game with an 11-1 record and a 37-inning scoreless streak, he was upstaged by Gamecocks junior and Conway native Colby Holmes.
Holmes carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up his only hit of the game, and he got lots of offensive support from his teammates in a 7-0 victory over the Jaspers.
The top-seeded Gamecocks advance to a winners’ bracket showdown with Clemson, which defeated Coastal Carolina 11-3 earlier in the day, at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Holmes’ one-hit, nine-strikeout performance puts South Carolina in the cat-bird seat after coach Ray Tanner opted to start Holmes ahead of ace Michael Roth, who will take on the Tigers on Saturday.
The switch was especially risky since Holmes had been struggling with a shoulder injury and Sewitt had the skills to hold the Gamecocks hitless through five innings.
But South Carolina broke through against Sewitt in the sixth inning, scoring four runs on a two-RBI single by Adam Matthews and a two-RBI triple by former St. James standout Tanner English to chase Sewitt.
The Gamecocks piled on three more runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Matthews and a two-run homer by Christian Walker before thunderstorms forced a lengthy rain delay and ended Holmes’ day.
South Carolina reliever Patrick Sullivan came on to close out the ninth with a pair of strikeouts but did allow one hit. Manhattan will face Coastal at noon Saturday.
- Photo courtesy of USC Athletics