Rain postpones SC-Oklahoma super regional
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Heavy rain swamping Carolina Stadium postponed the second game of the NCAA super regional series between Oklahoma and South Carolina on Sunday night.
The game, which was tied 0-0 in the sixth inning, is scheduled to resume Monday at 4:05 p.m. If a third game is necessary, it would start at 7:05 p.m.
The two-time defending national champion Gamecocks (44-17) are a win away from their third consecutive College World Series. They beat Oklahoma 5-0 in the first game of the best-of-three series on Saturday.
Officials first brought the tarp on the field at 8:26 p.m. after Evan Mistich struck out to end the fifth for Oklahoma (42-24). A delay that included very little rain lasted more than an hour.
About 10 minutes after the game resumed, rain began to fall again and play was called.
NCAA representative Mike Gaski said the National Weather Service predicted rain was imminent at the first stoppage and instead, the system stalled.
Most of the game had been played in a misty rain and Gaski said the field had absorbed enough water that officials were concerned about players slipping. So the tarp was taken off the infield for the groundskeepers to prepare for the resumption of play.
Gaski got a subsequent weather report that the latest system could miss the area and the game began again. However, after South Carolina's half of the sixth, rain fell harder than it had all game and officials called the contest for the night.
Gaski said tournament officials decided to take a chance they could get the rest of the game in.
"We were wrong," he said.
Oklahoma was the last team to defeat the Gamecocks in NCAA tournament play, a 4-3 victory in the 2010 College World Series. South Carolina has won an NCAA-record 20 straight tournament games, a streak it continued against the Sooners in game one here.
The Gamecocks are seeking a third straight CWS crown, something only accomplished by the Southern California dynasty, which won five straight titles from 1970-74.
When the game resumes, neither team is likely to have pitchers that were dominant on Sunday night.
Sooners starter Jonathan Gray struck out nine and gave up three hits in six innings.
Gray's biggest threat came in the third when South Carolina had two men on and one of their best hitters, Evan Marzilli, at the plate. But Gray blew a 93 mph by him for strike three.
When Gray got in trouble, his defense was there to bail him out. Catcher Tanner Toal threw out two runners trying to steal second.
Gray gave up a leadoff hit to Joey Pankake in the sixth then got LB Dantzler on a ground out to second to end the inning.
South Carolina's Colby Holmes matched Gray nearly pitch for pitch. The Gamecocks junior right-hander was coming off a one-hitter against Manhattan in the Columbia Regional last week and was just as solid this time. Holmes, too, got out of a two-on, two-outs situation in the third on Erik Ross' fly ball to center. And like Gray, Holmes was helped by his defense. After Max White got Oklahoma's first hit to start the fourth, Holmes got Matt Oberste on a foul pop to first baseman Christian Walker.
Walker then snagged a hot shot from Cody Reine and stepped on first to complete the double play.
Holmes allowed one hit and struck out three in his five innings.