Facing elimination at the NCAA Baseball Super Regional in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 8-0 to tie the best of three series, and force a deciding game three on Monday.
Former St. James High standout Tanner English got the Gamecocks going in the second inning. He reached on a bunt single and drove in Max Schrock for the first run of the game. English had a career performance. He went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, stole three bases and made a spectacular grab in the ninth inning to help preserve the shutout.
South Carolina scored five runs in the second inning. After English's RBI, Joey Pankake drove home a pair with a double, and LB Dantzler plated two more with a base hit to cap a five-run frame.
South Carolina (43-19) added three more runs with one in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
Gamecocks starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery tossed a complete game gem. He struck out three, allowing just four hits. It was the first time the Tar Heels were shutout all year, and ended a streak of 96 games without being blanked in the run column.
The Gamecocks are now 10-1 in elimination games at the NCAA Tournament in their last eleven tries.
The Tar Heels (56-10) won Saturday's opener 6-5.
The deciding game three of the series is set for 7 p.m. on Monday. You can watch the game on ESPN2.
Sports Director Rich Chrampanis was at the game in Chapel Hill and gives his take on the Gamecocks 8-0 win
Jordan Montgomery now has 16 shutout innings in the 2013 post-season. It's 24 goose eggs in the NCAA's dating back to last season's gem against Clemson. In four post-season starts, he's 4-0 and has given up just 2 ER in 32.2 innings.
Tanner English was humble in the post-game press conference. On the big stage, he delivered a tremendous all-around effort. His 9th inning catch in centerfield should be on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 and he had 2 runs, three stolen basesl, two hits and the key bunt RBI single that sparked the five run second inning. What makes the safety squeeze all that more impressive is the fact that he did it on Monday in the Liberty game. Everyone in the world now knows with a runner on third he's going to bunt, and it doesn't matter because his speed is so tremendous that there's not much the opponent can do except hope for the bunt to go foul.
Jack Wynkoop gets the ball for South Carolina. Chad Holbrook says if the freshman falters, Adam Westmoreland will be next in line to get the ball with Tyler Webb and Colby Holmes ready to go if needed. Montgomery's complete game masterpiece rested the Gamecocks bullpen, while the Tar Heels burned through six arms.
The Gamecocks are 10-1 over the last four years in elimination games while North Carolina has not lost back to back games this season. Something has to give in Monday's game. The winner is off to Omaha and the College World Series.