OMAHA—Starting on three days' rest for the second straight Omaha outing, Blake Cooper was simply sensational. South Carolina's senior righthander carried a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning and finished with 10 strikeouts in a dominating 7-1 win against favored UCLA.
The Gamecocks took a 5-0 lead against UCLA flame-thrower Gerrit Cole through three innings, and Cooper never let the shell-shocked Bruins back into the game. Just two UCLA baserunners reached scoring position through the first eight innings. South Carolina out-hit the Bruins 14-3 and dominated the game in every facet.
Cooper left with the bases loaded and no outs, and one inherited runner scored. His final line: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K.
His final pitch of the night was his 136th of the game, and his 300th pitch of the College World Series. He has three starts in nine days.
South Carolina is now just one win from its first national championship.
Plenty more to come on Cooper and the Gamecocks' huge victory after postgame.
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