COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s season came to a close on Sunday as Oklahoma State wrapped up its Palmetto State sweep with a 3-1 win at Founders Park.
Less than a week after going 3-0 and knocking national seed Clemson out of the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys needed two games to eliminate the host Gamecocks in the best-of-three Super Regional.
South Carolina hasn’t been to the College World Series since 2012, when the two-time defending National Champions lost to Arizona in the title series.
The Gamecocks ended the 2016 campaign with an overall record of 46-18.
On Sunday, Oklahoma State (41-20) broke through with all three runs with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. The first run crossed home on a squeeze bunt by Corey Hassel that was ruled a fielder’s choice, sacrifice.
Donnie Walton followed with an RBI single, setting up runners at the corners for Garrett Benge, who squared up to bunt on his first pitch from Clarke Schmidt. With Walton running to second on the pitch, John Jones’ throw sailed into centerfield, which allowed Hassel to score from third.
Schmidt was charged with all three runs even though South Carolina committed two errors in the inning. The sophomore righty gave up gave up six hits and retired six Cowboys on strikes in six innings of work.
The Gamecocks threatened in the seventh with runners at first and second, but Tyler Buffett induced a 5-4-3 double-play off Marcus Mooney to end the inning.
Buffett was chased after he issued a leadoff walk to Gene Cone and gave up a sharp single up the middle to T.J. Hopkins. Cone advanced to third after Dom Thompson-Williams popped out to centerfield, then scored on a wild-pitch by Michael Mertz.
The run was charged to Oklahoma State’s starter, who gave up seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk in his seven-plus innings of work.
Tyler Johnson, last weekend’s Columbia Regional MVP, pitched the final two innings for South Carolina.