Gamecocks top Kent State; get rematch with Arkansas

The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes, 4-1, in elimination game on Thursday afternoon at the College World Series. With the win the Gamecocks (47-18) advance to play Arkansas in a 9 p.m. ET contest Thursday night.

The Gamecocks rode the stellar pitching of senior left-hander Michael Roth. Roth, who tied the NCAA records for career starts at the College World Series with seven and wins with four, and established a record with the most innings pitched in College World Series history, improved his record to 9-1 on the season. He went the distance, allowing two hits and one run with no walks and eight strikeouts while throwing 106 pitches. He retired the final 22 batters he faced in order.

The Golden Flashes (47-20) broke out on top with a run in the top of the second inning. George Roberts led off with a single to right, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on Sawyer Polen’s single to left. Those would be the only two baserunners of the game for Kent State.

The Gamecocks came right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Adam Matthews and Kyle Martin stroked back-to-back singles. After Tanner English struck out, Grayson Greiner singled off the glove of Polen behind the third base bag. When the ball rolled away into foul territory, Matthews was able to beat the throw to the plate to tie the score at one. Chase Vergason followed with a single to right, plating Martin with the Gamecocks’ second run.

Carolina increased its lead in the bottom of the third inning. After Christian Walker belted a two-out double into the right-centerfield alley, LB Dantzler crushed a two-run homer over the rightfield bullpen, his 10th round tripper of the season, giving the Gamecocks a 4-1 advantage.

The Gamecocks finished the game with seven hits and left seven runners on base.

Kent State starter Tyler Skulina (11-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits with four walks and nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.

The Gamecocks will look to avenge Monday night’s 2-1 loss to Arkansas when the two teams get together later tonight. Arkansas will be the home team. The Gamecocks would need to defeat the Razorbacks tonight and again on Friday night to advance to the championship round of the College World Series.

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