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Flames Fall to Gamecocks at Columbia, S.C. Regional
|Outfielder Justin Sizemore had two hits, including a three-run home run, Saturday evening.|
The South Carolina Gamecocks led from start to finish, en route to a 19-3 win over the Liberty Flames in Game 4 of the Columbia, S.C. Regional at Carolina Stadium, Saturday evening.
Liberty falls to 35-28 on the year and will play the Clemson Tigers in an elimination game, tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks' win halts a seven-game Flames' winning streak. Tomorrow's game is scheduled for broadcast on ESPN3.
South Carolina, the regional host who entered the week ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation, moves to 41-18 on the season and will play the winner of Liberty/Clemson at 7 p.m., tomorrow evening.
South Carolina, the visiting team on the scoreboard, staked itself to a 3-0 edge in the top of the game's opening inning. With one out, third baseman Chase Vergason singled and shortstop Joey Pankake reached on a fielder's choice ground ball. Designated hitter LB Dantzler then walked to load the bases. After forcing out a runner at home plate for the second out of the inning, three consecutive bases-loaded walks plated Gamecocks' runners for a three-run lead.
Liberty moved two runners into scoring position in the bottom of the second with no outs, only to come away empty. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud was hit by a pitch to open the frame and moved to third on a double into the left-center field gap by left fielder Justin Sizemore. But, South Carolina starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery struck out the next three Flames to end the threat and the inning.
In the top of the third, the Gamecocks added to their advantage. Catcher Grayson Greiner led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a single by first baseman Kyle Martin. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners in to scoring position, right fielder Connor Bright lined a two-run single to center field to give South Carolina a 5-0 lead. Center fielder Tanner English followed with his first home run of the year for a 7-0 advantage.
The Gamecocks extended their lead with a two-run home run in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. With a man aboard in the fifth, second baseman Max Schrock hit his sixth round tripper of the year. In the sixth, a sacrifice fly by left fielder Graham Saiko made it, 10-0.
South Carolina scored nine times in the eighth for a 19-0 lead.
Liberty broke through for three runs in the ninth. With two men on, Sizemore belted his third home run of the season for the final score of 19-3.
Liberty starting pitcher Brooks Roy drops to 7-6 on the season. The first of seven Flames to pitch in the contest, the right-hander gave up three runs on one hit over 2/3 of an inning. He walked four batters.
South Carolina starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery moves to 4-1 on the year. The right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings, scattering three hits. He struck out a career-high 11 and did not walk a batter. The sophomore retired 12 batters in a row from Sizemore's double in the second to a leadoff double by right fielder Ashton Perritt in the sixth.
Liberty collected six hits in the contest. Sizemore recorded two hits, both for extra bases
South Carolina had 19 hits. The Flames made five errors in the game, leading to 11 unearned runs.