Screwing up a sacrifice bunt might have been the best thing that happened to the South Carolina Gamecocks yesterday in the College World Series.
South Carolina scored eight runs in the second inning after failing to get down bunts three times, and rolled to an 11-4 victory over the top-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU was eliminated from the tournament with the loss.
After putting two runners on with no one out in the second inning, Bobby Haney struck out bunting foul. Scott Wingo then followed by bunting a 2-0 pitch foul.
Perhaps South Carolina just figured they’d be better off abandoning the small ball, because they started swinging and driving balls all over Rosenblatt Stadium.
Wingo ripped a two-run double down the line on the next pitch. Two hitters and singles later, Jackie Bradley Jr. crushed a pitch into right center for a three-run homerun and a 6-0 lead.
The damage was completed three hitters later when, with a runner on first, Adrian Morales rocketed a pitch that drilled the left-field foul pole and gave South Carolina an 8-0 and chased ASU starter Merrill Kelly.
Arizona State probably wanted to forget their first game of the World Series, a mistake-filled 6-3 loss to Clemson. Two innings into their second game, they were probably hoping to just erase all memories of their 2010 CWS trip.
The Sun Devils had a brief glimmer of hope in the eighth inning when, after cutting the Gamecock lead to 10-4, they loaded the bases with one out. But Austin Barnes struck out looking and Drew Maggi was fanned Matt Price after Price fell behind 3-0 in the count.
The second game of the day, featuring Clemson and Oklahoma, was suspended with the Tigers leading 6-1 in the sixth inning.