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South Carolina heads back to CWS with 8-2 win over UConn

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Christian Walker hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning, and South Carolina added five more insurance runs in the ninth as the Gamecocks advanced to the College World Series for the second straight year with an 8-2 victory over Connecticut on Sunday night at Carolina Stadium.

The Gamecocks (50-14) will look to defend their national championship as they make their 10th all-time appearance in the College World Series, which begins June 18 at the new TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. It will be the fifth College World Series appearance under head coach Ray Tanner. Connecticut’s best season in school history comes to a close at 45-20-1 as they wrapped up their 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the first-ever team from New England to play in a super regional.

For the second straight year, Walker provided the eventual winning blast for Carolina as he roped a 1-0 offering from UConn starter Greg Nappo over the wall in left field to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the game at 3-2, sending the Carolina Stadium sellout crowd of 8,242 into a frenzy. It was in the eighth inning of the 2010 Super Regional against Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach that Walker hit a 2-out, 2-strike, 3-run bomb that gave Carolina a 10-9 lead and propelled the Gamecocks to victory and kept alive the eventual national championship run.

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