Gamecocks race to commanding lead

June, 22, 2010

OMAHA, Neb. -- A nightmare start for Arizona State pitcher Merrill Kelly has put the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament near elimination earlier than anyone in the stadium could have anticipated.

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Jackie Bradley Jr
AP Photo/Nati HarnikJackie Bradley Jr.'s three-run home run was just part of South Carolina's second-inning haul.

An eight-run second inning gave the Gamecocks an 8-0 lead and ended Kelly's day with a line he may stare at for the rest of the summer.

One and 2/3 innings pitched, 10 hits and eight runs -- all earned. He did have three strikeouts and threw 34 strikes among his 49 pitches, but the Sun Devils will need a big inning of their own to get back in the game.

Second baseman Scott Wingo started the action with a two-RBI double down the left-field line. Two batters later, Whit Merrifield shanked a bloop shot over first base that landed on the infield dirt and scored Wingo.

Then center fielder and All-SEC second-teamer Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a high home run that the wind helped clear the fence in right center to make it 6-0 for South Carolina.

With Kelly a strike away from ending the inning, third baseman Adrian Morales bashed a ball off the foul pole in left field to end Kelly's day and -- barring a comeback -- his season.



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