No. 9 batter Derek Campbell drove in two runs, closer Matt Flemer pitched three scoreless innings and California extended its most improbable season, beating Texas A&M 7-3 Tuesday at the College World Series in Omaha.
The Bears (38-22) will play Virginia on Thursday in another elimination game. The Aggies (47-22) went two games and out and are 2-10 in five CWS appearances.
The Bears led 6-1 after scoring three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Campbell, a .255 hitter who came in with five RBIs in 22 games, delivered RBI singles each inning.
Freshman Kyle Porter (6-0) allowed three runs in six innings. Flemer finished for his sixth save, giving up three singles and striking out five. They combined to stop an A&M club that had recorded 17 comeback victories this season.
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Michael Wacha (9-4) was tagged for seven runs, four earned, in 6 2-3 innings.
California would need three more wins to reach the best-of-three championship round next week. Then again, the Bears coaches and players believe anything is possible after the way their season has evolved.
The Cal administration last fall announced plans to cut the program in 2012 for budgetary reasons, but boosters and alumni raised $9 million to save the Bears. The program was reinstated in April as the Bears were on their way to a sixth-place finish in the Pac-10.
After losing in the first round of regionals, they swept through the tournament before losing 4-1 to Virginia in their CWS opener Saturday.
The Aggies led 1-0 in the fourth after Adam Smith homered into the left-field bullpen.
The Bears responded with six runs the next two innings.
After Chad Bunting reached on an error and Darrel Matthews singled in the fifth, Campbell singled home the Bears' first run.
Campbell singled into center for a five-run lead after Mitch Delfino's RBI double and Bunting's run-scoring single.
Cal manufactured another run in the seventh, with Tony Renda singling, moving over on a sacrifice and grounder and coming home on Devon Rodriguez's single.
Texas A&M scored twice on three hits and an error in the sixth. Brandon Wood delivering a two-out single before Porter struck out Kenny Jackson to end the threat.
Flemer entered the next inning and held off the Aggies the rest of the way. He hasn't given up a run in 8 2-3 innings over his last seven games.
South Carolina 7, Virginia 1 — Colby Holmes, John Taylor and Matt Price combined on a five-hitter and defending national champion South Carolina tied the record for consecutive NCAA tournament wins with a victory over Virginia.
Adrian Morales and Brady Thomas had three hits apiece for the Gamecocks, who won their 13th straight national tournament game to match the record held by Southern California (1972-74) and LSU (1997-98).
The Gamecocks (52-14) are off until Friday and would have to be beaten twice by Virginia or California to not return to the best-of-three finals next week. No. 1 national seed Virginia (55-11) plays California in a Thursday elimination game.
South Carolina scored three unearned runs in the first inning against Will Roberts (11-2), and five of its 13 hits went for extra bases.
Taylor (11-2) got the win with one-hit relief over a season-high 4 1/3 innings.
Florida 3, Vanderbilt 1 — Florida's Steven Rodriguez pitched no-hit relief for 4 1/3 innings and the Gators finished a 3-1 victory over Vanderbilt in the completion of a College World Series game suspended because of inclement weather.
Rodriguez (4-2) retired three batters before high winds and heavy rain disrupted the game in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night. He struck out six of the 11 batters he faced Tuesday. He finished with seven strikeouts and walked one.