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Monday, June 2, 2008

Pack downs Gamecocks twice to advance to Super Regional

Old adages stay in circulation for a reason: More often than not, they're true.

That was the case this weekend in Raleigh. Good pitching truly did beat good hitting on Saturday (5-4) and Sunday (2-1) as the Pack downed South Carolina in both games to advance to the Super Regionals.

South Carolina came into the games against the Pack swinging some ridiculously prolific bats, and had beaten UNC Charlotte 15-8 in their first game of the Regionals.

But Clayton Shunick's pitching performance on Saturday, Erik Surkamp's masterful four innings of two-hit ball on Sunday and a lockdown job both nights from the bullpen were too much for USC's hitters.

Now State awaits the results of tonight's 7:00 game between Ga. Tech and Georgia. A win by the Yellow Jackets would advance them into the Super Regionals, but more importantly grant State hosting rights to the second round by virtue of their higher seed. A win by the Bulldogs would mean a trip to Athens.

It's the first time State has advanced to the Super Regionals since 2003, and with pitching this strong, the Pack looks like one of the teams to beat in the second round.

I suppose there's some irony that State does so in defeating Ray Tanner's Gamecocks in newly-renovated Doak Field. It's widely rumored that the reason he left was lack of support from the State athletic administration and a refusal to upgrade the facilities while he was here. To see his understudy (Avent was an assistant under Tanner that assumed the team when Tanner left) advance in a sold-out Doak must've been bittersweet, to a degree.

Here are some recaps, and a nice piece from Baseball America:

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to the Pack Nine. Nice job.

    I don't think there's any question that Tanner left because of the administration's lack of support for his (then-very good) program. To his credit, Tanner was very complimentary of the State program, and he seemed genuinely pleased that Doak was (finally!) hosting a regional.