Scott Wingo drilled a bases-loaded single off the right-field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning to give defending national champion South Carolina a 5-4 victory over Texas A&M at the College World Series on Sunday night in Omaha, Neb.
South Carolina (51-14) advanced to a Bracket 2 winners' game against Virginia on Tuesday night. The Aggies (47-21) play California in an elimination game that afternoon.
Wingo's winning hit against Nick Fleece capped his career-best four-hit night, and he reached base five times.
The Gamecocks won the 2010 national championship on a walkoff hit in the 11th inning against UCLA in the final CWS game played at Rosenblatt Stadium, and now they have the first walkoff victory at TD Ameritrade Park.
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Robert Beary doubled off the right-field fence to start the inning against Kyle Martin (2-3). Beary went to third when 2010 CWS Most Outstanding Player Jackie Bradley Jr., playing in his first game in two months, sliced a liner into left off Fleece. Evan Marzilli walked to load the bases.
Michael Roth, John Taylor and Matt Price (6-3) combined to hold the Aggies hitless in the last five innings.
Roth and A&M's Ross Stripling engaged in a pitcher's duel after a wacky first inning in which each team scored four runs.
Roth performed splendidly when, as a short reliever, he was called on to start two games at last year's CWS. Now one of the nation's premier starters, he allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings, and the four first-inning runs against him were unearned. His season ERA dropped to 0.97.
Stripling, trying to become the first 15-game winner at A&M since Jeff Granger in 1993, allowed seven hits over eight innings. He walked one and struck out six, and two of the four runs against him were earned.
Injured New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain cheered him on from the stands. The former Nebraska Cornhusker was wearing a Texas A&M cap, undoubtedly a nod to Aggies head coach Rob Childress, who was Chamberlain's pitching coach in college.
Stripling turned over the game to Martin to start the ninth, and then South Carolina's offense awakened after having been limited to three hits the previous five innings.
Bradley, playing in his first game after going out April 23 with an injury to his left wrist, followed Beary's double with a base hit to help set the stage for Wingo.
Wingo, who has 13 hits in his past five games, had a base hit, bunt single and double earlier in the game and also had been hit by a pitch.
The Gamecocks had lost their previous four CWS openers.
Virginia 4, California 1 — Virginia ace Danny Hultzen and Tyler Wilson did their part from the start.
It took the Cavaliers' offense a lot longer to get going. Finally they scratched out enough for a College World Series victory over California.
John Hicks' single in the seventh inning broke a scoreless tie in what until then had been the longest 0-0 game at the CWS since 1987.