CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —
The super regional NCAA tournament game between Virginia and Mississippi State was delayed twice by rain on Sunday.
The Bulldogs held a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning when rain returned to Davenport Field. A win by Mississippi State would end the series and send the Bulldogs to the College World Series. Virginia was seeking to force a third game tonight in Charlottesville.
Sophomores stood out for both squads on Sunday. Brandon Downes gave Virginia a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the second inning, his 10th homer. In the sixth, Nate Irving hit a two-run double to left to trim the deficit to 5-3.
In between, the Bulldogs scored five unanswered runs. Wes Rea broke a 1-1 tie in the third with a two-run home run to left field.
Virginia senior Scott Silverstein started the game and in 3 1/3 innings of work gave up seven hits and five runs, four earned. He walked three batters.
South Carolina 8, North Carolina 0
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Montgomery pitched a four-hit shutout, leading South Carolina past North Carolina in the NCAA super regionals for the Tar Heels’ most lopsided loss this year.
Joey Pankake drove in two runs during a five-run second inning for the Gamecocks (43-19), who forced a decisive game Monday in the best-of-3 series with the winner going to the College World Series.
The Tar Heels (56-10) won Saturday’s opener 6-5 on an RBI single in the ninth. But the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament took its first shutout loss in 96 games dating to last season and its four hits matched a season low. Before Sunday, North Carolina’s worst loss was a 10-4 home defeat to No. 6 national seed Virginia on May 16.
South Carolina is trying to get back to Omaha for the fourth straight year.
The Tar Heels started the year 39-2, won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title and haven’t lost consecutive games all year.
Hobbs Johnson (4-1) turned in the shortest outing of his career by managing just five outs before heading to the dugout in the second.
By then, Tanner English — who also had three stolen bases and a diving catch in center field in the ninth — had driven in the game’s first run on a bunt. Then Pankake drove in two more on a double down the left-field line and L.B. Dantzler followed with a two-run single to right for a 5-0 lead.
Montgomery (6-1) didn’t let a UNC base runner reach third all day. He threw 121 pitches and struck out three while walking just one, dominating a lineup that had produced the most runs in the nation (8.1 per game) entering the super regionals. It was his first complete game.