From staff and wire reports
GREENVILLE, N.C. - In what seemed like a lost first season under head coach Mark Kingston less than two months ago, the University of South Carolina baseball team is heading on to a super regional.
Madison Stokes …
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Madison Stokes drove in three runs and Jonah Bride hit a late home run as South Carolina defeated North Carolina Wilmington 8-4 on Monday to win the Greenville regional of the NCAA tournament at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
After sweeping three games in Greenville, the second-seeded Gamecocks, who improved to 36-24 on the season, will go on the road to face Southeastern Conference rival Arkansas, the No. 5 national seed, in a best-of-3 super regional series this weekend.
The Gamecocks were 20-17 on the season after a 7-4 midweek loss to Presbyterian on April 17. They responded by winning their final five SEC series to earn an NCAA bid.
Carlos Cortes had four hits and Hunter Taylor added two RBI to help South Carolina earn its 13th super regional berth and second in three years.
Stokes had a sacrifice fly in the sixth and a 2-run double an inning later that made it 6-3. Bride's 2-run homer in the ninth made it a 5-run game.
Kep Brown homered and drove in two runs, and Mason Berne had the other two RBI for the fourth-seeded Seahawks, who finished with 39-23 record.
The Gamecocks struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Cortes led off the inning with a single up the middle. He went to second on an infield single by Bride. Justin Row walked to load the bases and Taylor brought in a pair with an infield double to the shortstop.
The Seahawks answered with a run in the bottom of the third on Berne's RBI single up the middle.
Carolina scored a pair in the sixth inning as Stokes brought in Danny Blair with a sacrifice fly to left and LT Tolbert singled to right to bring in Cortes. Then in the seventh, Stokes doubled to the gap in right, scoring Blair and Cortes and giving Carolina a 6-3 lead.
Stokes, Bride, Tolbert and Jacob Olson had two hits apiece.
Carmen Mlodzinski earned the win, striking out three and allowing four hits and three runs in 5-plus innings of work. Eddy Demurias pitched three innings and struck out five while Sawyer Bridges pitched the final frame.
The days and times for the super regional games will be announced today.
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