The Gamecocks arrived at TD Ameritrade Park just before 7 p.m., roughly six hours after beating Kent State in an elimination game earlier Thursday.
The between-games plan: Shower, eat something, nap (maybe). The players will participate in a light batting practice session in the indoor cages before the nightcap.
A little odd, yes. One team doesn’t usually play two games in one day during the College World Series (hasn’t happened since 1980). And usually, in the typical doubleheader format, you don’t leave the ballpark.
But SC won’t complain.
“It’s better than making reservations for Columbia,” coach Ray Tanner said after the Gamecocks’ 4-1 win over Kent State.
Especially considering the way South Carolina advanced. Starter Michael Roth threw a complete game, which means the entire SC bullpen is available against Arkansas, according to Tanner.
The position players might be a little more fatigued than normal, but as Tanner puts it: “These guys are young and have a lot of energy.”
It may not make much of a difference, but the Arkansas-South Carolina game won’t start on time Thursday night. Thirty minutes late, actually. 8:30 p.m.
It was originally scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but Arizona’s 10-3 win over Florida State took almost 3 1/2 hours.
*Just to reset, South Carolina can force an elimination game Friday with a win Thursday. But if Arkansas is victorious, the Razorbacks advance to the championship series (against Arizona) and the Gamecocks’ season is over.