After grabbing wins over Duke and Rhode Island this weekend, the UNCW baseball team fell to South Carolina in Columbia 10-1 on Sunday night.
Making his first start of the 2016 season, Tyler Johnson (3-2) gave up just one run and struck out 11 to lead the Gamecocks. The South Carolina (45-16) offense supported Johnson with another huge effort, tallying 10 runs on 13 hits.
Sophomore right-hander Cory Gantz (4-1) suffered the loss for UNCW (41-18). He made it through just 1.1 innings before surrendering five runs.
UNCW got on the board in the top of the first as Brian Mims stayed hot with a solo home run. Entering the game, the Seahawks’ second baseman was 5-for-10 at the plate in the Regional.
South Carolina surged ahead after loading the bases with no outs in the second inning. Gene Cone chased all three runners home with a bases-clearing double and Dom Thompson-Williams plated a pair later in the frame with a 2 RBI single to center for a 5-1 lead.
Neither team scored again until the sixth, when the Gamecocks broke the game open. South Carolina had the bases loaded with two outs when Madison Stokes coaxed a walk, while Hunter Taylor singled home a pair to make the score 8-1.
Cone’s three-hit game was his eighth this season and third of the Columbia Regional. The junior has tallied 11 hits so far in the NCAA postseason.
Counting their 23-2 Sunday afternoon victory against Rhode Island, the Gamecocks scored 33 runs and outscored their opponents 33-3 for the day.
The Gamecock victory sets up a winner-take-all contest between the two squads, set for Monday at 6 p.m. The victor advances to one of eight best-of-three Super Regionals across the country as the road to Omaha, Nebraska and the College World Series continues.