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NCAA Baseball Tournament: South Carolina 7, St. Louis 3 -- The Gamecocks Wake Up Late

South Carolina did what it seems to do best when the NCAA tournament comes around: Win however it needed to

Note: Photo from last year
Note: Photo from last year
Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

There are generally two things that can happen when the lower-seeded team rallies to tie a baseball game. The first is that they can take the momentum and end up winning the game, as the favorite looks on in shock. The second is that they can awaken the higher seed and cause it to decide to win the game -- which is what South Carolina did tonight after St. Louis tied it at two in the top of the eighth.

In fact, the Gamecocks didn't just win --they unloaded on St. Louis, and the Billikens quickly imploded. By the time the bottom of the eighth was over, the Gamecocks had gotten three hits, St. Louis had committed two errors (including a throwing error that allowed a runner on second to score on the tag-up), and South Carolina had put up four runs to take a 7-3 lead. That allowed Tyler Webb to take the ball back after the error-ridden eighth and easily retire St. Louis.

And it raised the question of whether South Carolina might do it once again -- it being the ability to slump out of the SEC tournament, somehow reboot when it was done and then start a deep run into the NCAA tournament. Because ti certainly looked a lot like the South Carolina of the last few years on Friday night, winning the game in whatever way they needed to. It might be too much to put on this team too early, but that expectation has basically been with the Gamecocks from the start of the season. If they beat Liberty tomorrow in the winners' bracket, though, it's going to be hard to tamp down the expectations of fans who feel like they've seen this before.