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      Gamecocks win NCAA Baseball Regional opener

      Gamecocks advance to play Liberty in the winners bracket.

      The South Carolina Gamecocks (40-19) broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and beat the St. Louis Billikens 7-3 at the NCAA Tournament's Columbia Regional on Friday night.

      Graham Saiko hit a solo home run to give South Carolina a 2-0 lead in the second inning. A Connor Bright RBI single in the fourth extended the Gamecocks advantage to 3-0.

      St. Louis (41-20) rallied for a run in the seventh, and two more in the eighth on a Chase Vergason throwing error that tied the game at three-all.

      South Carolina scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on a Kyle Martin single. The Gamecocks scored a total of four runs in the frame. The win over St. Louis is the Gamecocks 25th straight NCAA Tournament home win.

      South Carolina will play Liberty in a winners bracket game at 8 p.m. on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium. St. Louis will play Clemson in an elimination game at 2 p.m. on Saturday.