Remember way back on Friday night when South Carolina lost to Rhode Island and the internet was set aflame with hot takes? How far we've come.
The Gamecocks rallied after that loss to win four more games, including a winner-take-all rematch with UNC-Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon.
After two quiet innings to start the game, the Seahawks took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. South Carolina answered quickly, though, scoring five runs in the fourth inning. Gene Cone and TJ Hopkins knocked back-to-back singles to start things off, then Dom Thompson-Williams made it to first thanks to an error, which loaded the bases. Alex Destino followed with a two-run single, then with one out, Madison Stokes brought in two more runs to put the Gamecocks up 4-1. An RBI sac bunt from DC Arendas brought in the fifth run of the inning.
South Carolina tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning. Destino led off with a double, and later came home on an RBI single by Stokes. Hunter Taylor followed that with a base hit of his own, and with two outs, Marcus Mooney walked, then Cone did too, which forced in a run and bumped the score up to 7-1.
The Gamecocks added another run in the top of the eighth inning, courtesy of a leadoff homer by Arendas. UNC-W made things interesting in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs on a double, a groundout and a single to make the score 8-5.
Fortunately South Carolina gave themselves a little more breathing room in the ninth inning. With two outs, Jonah Bride and Stokes both got hit by pitches, and then they both came home when pinch hitter John Jones came through with a clutch double that was almost a homer.
Gamecocks starting pitcher Taylor Widener did a nice job, working four solid innings. Josh Reagan, Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb combined to go the rest of the way.
South Carolina now advances to the Super Regionals, and they'll host Oklahoma State (who beat a certain team in the Upstate...) this weekend at Founder's Park. This will be the Gamecocks' fifth Super Regional appearance in the last seven years and their 12th in the 17 years that Super Regionals have been played.