Dantzler delivers, Gamecocks beat Clemson at NCAA Regional
Junior College transfer LB Dantzler launched a single off the warning track in right field to score Joey Pankake with the game winning run for the South Carolina Gamecocks, in a 5-4 victory over the Clemson Tigers in 12 innings. A sold out crowd of 8,242 fans watched the winner's bracket game at the NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament in Columbia, South Carolina.
South Carolina jumped on top 2-0 in the fourth inning on a home run by Adam Matthews. Clemson rallied for three in the seventh to take the lead. Steve Wilkerson doubled home Brad Felder to cut the Gamecocks lead to 2-1. A Thomas Brittle single pushed Jason Stolz home to tie the game. Phil Pohl drove home the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice, for a third earned run off Gamecocks ace Michael Roth.
Clemson increased their lead to 4-2 in the eighth when Felder hit a solo homer off Matt Price. But the Gamecocks rallied for a run in the bottom half of the inning. Christian Walker doubled to left to score Evan Marzilli. Then in the ninth, Pankake singled to score TJ Costen to tie the game 4-4.
Pankake and Marzilli led off the 12th inning with back-to-back singles. Dantzler took care of the rest with a one-out blast to right off Clemson relief pitcher Kevin Brady. Pankake trotted home with the game-winner.
The Gamecocks have now won a record 18 consecutive NCAA Baseball Tournament games.
Clemson will play an elimination game at noon on Sunday against Coastal Carolina. South Carolina will play the winner of that game at 4 p.m. If the Gamecocks win on Sunday, they would advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. If the Gamecocks lose on Sunday, a winner-take-all match-up would be played on Monday.