Wire, staff reports
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The pitching of Tazewell alumnus Trey Lambert got the Liberty Flames into the NCAA regional championship picture on Sunday, but the Lynchburg school could not overcome World Series perennial South Carolina on Monday, falling 6-4 to the Gamecocks.
LB Dantzler drove in two runs as South Carolina overcame a 16-hour wait to beat Liberty and capture the Columbia Region, the Gamecocks’ 27th straight NCAA tournament win at home.
The Gamecocks (42-18) advanced to the best-of-3 super regional round for the fourth straight season and 11th time since 2000. They’ll either play at North Carolina or host Florida Atlantic next weekend depending on Monday night’s game in Chapel Hill.
This contest was halted Sunday night because of rainstorms in the fifth inning with South Carolina ahead 4-2. The Gamecocks added to that lead when the game resumed with RBI singles in the fifth by Graham Saiko and Tanner English.
Liberty (36-29) had the tying runs on base in the ninth, but Justin Sizemore struck out to end things. The Flames, though, beat Clemson twice here to end a 13-year drought between NCAA wins.
The start of Monday’s regional championship between top-seeded North Carolina and upstart Florida Atlantic was delayed by weather in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Lambert, having pitched on Sunday, did not play in Monday's game.