South Carolina, Roth hold off Georgia Southern 2-1



COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Michael Roth allowed two hits in seven innings and defending national champion South Carolina opened the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 victory over Georgia Southern on Friday night.

The Gamecocks (46-14) take on Stetson in a winner’s bracket game on Saturday. The Eagles (36-25) will face North Carolina State in an elimination game.

Roth was a star in last year’s College World Series run with a complete game win over Clemson and a strong effort in the clinching victory against UCLA. He proved just as good this time against Georgia Southern and star outfielder Victor Roache, who led the country with 30 homers this season.

Roth (12-3) gave up a single to Scooter Williams in the third and one to Shawn Payne in the sixth. Roache was 0 for 3 and struck out looking to end the game.

Matt Price got the final five outs for his 16th save.