UVA falls to South Carolina, Liberty downs Duke in NCAA Regional action

Liberty wins its opener in NCAA baseball regional action.
Liberty wins its opener in NCAA baseball regional action. (WSLS)

Columbia, SC/Knoxville, TN – Third-seeded Virginia fell to host and 2nd seed South Carolina on Friday afternoon by a score of 4-3. The loss sends UVA into the consolation bracket, setting an elimination game tomorrow against the loser of tonight’s matchup between Old Dominion and Jacksonville. The winner of that game will play another elimination game on Saturday night.

“Certainly, our backs are against the wall, just like they have been for the back half of this season, and we’ll take that approach, starting tomorrow. It’s win, or go home. Whoever loses in the winner’s bracket game tomorrow is in the same position that we are in, and I have to feel good about the depth of our pitching staff to be able to do this, " Cavalier coach Brian O’Conner said.

The Gamecocks jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Friday, but Virginia answered with solo home runs from Jake and Zack Gelof in the 3rd inning. The Wahoos went up 3-1 in the fourth, when Jake Gelof scored on an infield hit by Zack Gelof. South Carolina took the lead with three runs in the 6th, as they tied the game on a ground rule double, and took the lead on a single through the left side.

Meanwhile, in the Knoxville Regional, third-seeded Liberty handled the 2-seed Duke 11-6. The Flames Brady Gulakowski has a pair of three-run homers as Liberty ran out to an 11-1 lead.

Liberty ace Trevor Delaite, the Atlantic Sun pitcher of the year, worked 7 2/3 strong innings limited the Blue Devils to eight hits and four runs while pushing his season record to 12-1.

“Tickled to death with the way we started the game. It’s one thing to tell your players how to execute and what the approach needs to be against the starter and it’s a whole other thing for us to go out there and execute it as well as we did --but I thought our guys were outstanding,” Liberty coach Scott Jackson said.

The Flames advance in the winner’s bracket, and get the winner of host Tennessee and Wright State next.

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