After entering seven teams – three of them national seeds and five hosts…the ACC’s down to No. 1 national seed Virginia, and they have to beat the defending champs twice to advance on…
No. 1 Virginia (56-11) vs. No. 4 South Carolina (52-14)
South Carolina scouting report
Notable: They’ve won 13 straight NCAA Tournament games – tied for an NCAA record after beating Virginia 7-1 on Tuesday night. Looking at this year’s tourney, their closest games were the opener with Georgia Southern with a 2-1 win and the walkoff over Texas A&M, 5-4 on Sunday. Four of the five other victories were by six runs. Basically, they’re dominating this tournament. SC ace Michael Roth will take the mound on four days’ rest as the Gamecocks go for the jugular tonight. Roth pitched 7 1/3 innings with four unearned runs, eight strikeouts and five walks on 124 pitches in a no-decision against TAMU Sunday.
Top Bats: 1B Christian Walker (.358 avg/10 HR/62 RBI), 2B Scott Wingo (.345 avg/4 HR/28 RBI, C Brady Thomas (.313 avg/4 HR/40 RBI), CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (.264 avg/6 HR/27 RBI).
Top Available Arms: LHP Michael Roth (13-3/0.97 ERA), RHP Forrest Koumas (6-1, 3.13 ERA), RHP Matt Price (6-3, 2.12 ERA, 18 saves), RHP Jose Mata (3-0, 1.76 ERA), RHP John Taylor (7-1/1.17 ERA).
Virginia Notes: A 4-run sixth inning broke it open for the ‘Hoos to the 8-1 W to eliminate Cal from the CWS. Captain starter Tyler Wilson gave Virginia all they needed and more with 7.2 IP/5 H/1 R/1 ER/5 K/0 BB. Cody Winiarski shut it down with 1 1/3 IP of one-hit ball. Ace Danny Hultzen will get the ball for the ‘Hoos after going 6 1/3 IP of three-hit ball and six strikeouts in a no-decision against Cal last Sunday. Looking at guys who SC shut down – but recovered yesterday…LF John Barr was 0/3 against the Gamecocks, but was 1/4 with 2 RBI Thursday. CF Kenny Swab went 0-for-3 as well and was 2/5 with a run scored on a quasi-inside-the-park-HR. 2B Keith Werman had a big day too with a 2/2 for an RBI day.
(Picks in bold)
6/24 Virginia (LHP Danny Hultzen, 12-3/1.41 ERA) vs. South Carolina (Michael Roth, 13-3/0.97 ERA), 7 p.m., ESPN.
Why SC?: Well, the whole picking against them thing hasn’t worked out so well. But you really can’t ask for more here – two of the best lefty pitchers in college baseball squaring off in an elimination game. Albeit, just for Virginia, but should be great anyway. The ‘Hoos couldn’t have played worse on Tuesday against the Gamecocks – they’ll be better tonight. I don’t think I’m stretching here when I say this is a lot more likely to be one of the 1-run games and not the 6-run romps that the Gamecocks have had this postseason. We’ll see if I have another one of these things to write tomorrow.