Gamecocks top UCLA
OMAHA, Neb. — Blake Cooper allowed three hits in eight-plus innings and Bobby Haney drove in a career-high three runs, moving South Carolina within a win of its first national title with a 7-1 victory over UCLA in Game 1 of the College World Series finals Monday night.
Pitching on three days’ rest for the second straight time, Cooper struck out 10 and carried a one-hitter into the ninth before running into trouble.
South Carolina fans cheered a drawn-out “COOOOOP” as the senior right-hander left after 136 pitches and the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth. Reliever John Taylor finished, but not before the Bruins broke up the shutout when Cody Regis scored on a double-play grounder.
The Gamecocks (53-16) and Bruins (51-16) play Game 2 on Tuesday night.
The first hit against Cooper came with one out in the fifth, when No. 9 batter Steve Rodriguez dropped a single down the right-field line. Cooper (13-2) retired the next 11 batters before Regis led off the ninth with a single to right. Cooper walked Marc Navarro and Jeff Gelalich singled to chase the Gamecocks’ starter.
South Carolina collected 11 of their 14 hits and six runs, four earned, in seven innings against UCLA starter Gerrit Cole (11-4). Cole had struck out 13 in eight innings in a win over TCU in his previous start, but he fanned only two Gamecocks.
Cole was victimized by two errors and bad luck.
In the first inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a bunt single.