COLUMBIA -- The last time Charlotte coach Loren Hibbs brought a team to Columbia for last year's NCAA Regional, his parting shot to the assembled media was that South Carolina's strength coach needed a raise after the Gamecocks bashed the ball all over Sarge Frye Field.
He took a different tack after six 49ers pitchers held the Gamecocks to season lows of eight hits and two runs in an 11-2 victory Wednesday afternoon.
"A lot of (those words) was to wake up our program," Hibbs said. "But we were able to change looks today, and that's what you have to do against a great offensive team."
The Gamecocks (5-2) could never find a groove against the six Charlotte (8-1) pitchers and finished with eight hits and two runs while the USC pitchers allowed 12 hits, walked four and never was able to make a pitch when it was needed. "Give Charlotte credit, they made pitches, they made plays when they needed too and just played better than we did," South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said.
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South Carolina jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second on a solo home run by Phil Disher and a bases-loaded walk by Scott Wingo.
However, the Gamecocks wasted bases-loaded situations.
"We had some run-scoring opportunities when we were up 2-0 and didn't capitalize, and it certainly came back to haunt us," Tanner said. "We've got some guys in the middle of the order not making contact in key situations. We have to do a better job of pushing runs across when we get the opportunity."