Hopkins powers USC past Kentucky
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) – TJ Hopkins’ pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh inning helped South Carolina rally past Kentucky 3-1 on Friday to reach the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.
The 11th-seeded Gamecocks (35-24) face No. 2 seed LSU (41-17) on Saturday.
South Carolina won despite getting just two hits all day.
Kentucky’s Justin Lewis carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed just one hit in 5 1/3 innings, but South Carolina rallied against the Wildcats’ bullpen. The Gamecocks trailed 1-0 until Hopkins hit his three-run shot off Logan Salow (2-6).
South Carolina’s Josh Reagan (6-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief after starter Adam Hill allowed just one unearned run and three hits in six innings. Tyler Johnson got the final two outs for his 10th save.
Kentucky (39-20) stranded runners on second and third in the eighth and left a runner at second in the ninth.
Virginia pounces on Clemson for 10-2 rout
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Cameron Simmons’ three-run homer highlighted Virginia’s eight-run first inning and the Cavaliers coasted to a 10-2 rout of Clemson on Friday in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Fourth-seeded Virginia (45-12) concluded Pool D play by reaching Clemson left-hander Pat Krall (8-3) for six straight hits in the bottom of the inning. Adam Haseley, Pavin Smith and Robbie Coman delivered RBI hits before Simmons’ homer to left broke open the game.
Andy Weber and Ernie Clement also knocked in runs as the Cavaliers got nine of their 15 hits in their first at-bat. Four of Virginia’s five extra-base hits were doubles, and eight batters had at least one hit.
Cavaliers left-hander Daniel Lynch (7-4) allowed five hits and a run and struck out two in seven innings for the victory.
Weston Jackson hit a ninth-inning homer and Seth Beer knocked in a run for the fifth-seeded Tigers (39-19).
Texas State eliminates CCU
STATESBORO, Ga. (CCU ATHLETICS) – Top seed Coastal Carolina battled back from two four-run deficits (once to cut it to one run and once to cut it to two) and brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but fell short, 7-5, to eighth-seed Texas State in the quarterfinal of the 2017 Sun Belt Championship.
The Chanticleers are eliminated from the rain-shortened, single-elimination event and will have to hope for an at-large bid to an NCAA Regional, which will be announced Monday at Noon (ET) on ESPN2.