Messina, Tippett rally South Carolina to 8-7 10-inning victory over James Madison in NCAA opener

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — South Carolina was down to its last strike in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday before catcher Cole Messina hit a two-run home run to tie it, and Will Tippett added a sacrifice fly in the 10th to rally the second-seeded Gamecocks to an 8-7 victory over No. 3 seed James Madison in the first game of the Raleigh Regional.

South Carolina (37-23) will play the winner of the second game between regional host and top seed North Carolina State and No. 4 seed Bryant. James Madison (34-24) will play the NC State-Bryant loser in an elimination game.

Fenwick Trimble’s second double drove in two and capped a three-run rally in the top of the sixth, giving James Madison a 7-4 lead after South Carolina scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to even the score. Kennedy Jones hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth to get the Gamecocks within two.

The Dukes took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Ryan Dooley drove in two with a single and scored on a double by Trimble.

James Madison reliever Jackson Logar had given up one home run all season before giving up two in the bottom of the fifth. Tippett, the No. 9 hitter in the order, homered to left field to lead off. Austin Brinling followed with a single and scored on a one-out home run down the line in right field by Blake Jackson to tie the game at 4.

South Carolina rallied to win it against reliever Joe Vogatsky (3-2). The Dukes appeared to be in line for a victory in their first regional appearance in 13 years, but Vogatsky hit Jackson on a 1-2 pitch before surrendering the tying home run.

The winning run was set up when Vogatsky walked Jones to begin the 10th inning. He struck out the next batter but threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt by Talmadge LeCroy allowing Jones to make it all the way to third. He scored on Tippett’s fly to center.

The Dukes’ only appearance in the College World Series came in 1983 when they notched their only regional championship.

The Gamecocks have made 11 CWS appearances with championships in 2010 and 2011.


AP college sports:

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