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Tiny Wofford College Continues as NCAA Cinderella Team Against South Carolina

The NCAA Division I baseball championship brackets were reported this afternoon.  It was announced that the Wofford College baseball team will travel to Columbia, S.C., to take on No. 9 nationally ranked University of South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Regionals on Friday, June 1.

The Wofford Terriers received a No. 4 seed in the Columbia regional bracket and will face No. 1 seed South Carolina at 7 p.m. in the first round of the double elimination tournament.  Wofford joins No. 2 seed North Carolina State and No. 3 seed University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the four-team field.  Initially, it had been announced that Wofford would be the No. 4 seed in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill regional bracket, but the NCAA changed its original decision and placed Wofford in the Columbia regional.

Wofford College was awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional after taking the Southern Conference championship for the first time in its school history.  After drawing a No. 9 seed in the tournament, the Terriers went on to post a perfect 5-0 record in the tournament, becoming the lowest seeded team ever to win the Southern Conference tournament.  The “yellow-brick road” to the championship included a 5-3 play-in victory over No. 8 seed Furman University, a 19-6 trouncing of No. 1 seed College of Charleston, a 12-5 triumph over No. 5 seed University of North Carolina-Greensboro and back-to-back wins of 6-2 and 4-2 over No. 7 seed The Citadel for the dramatic conference championship win.

Wofford third baseman Brandon Waring was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after knocking in 16 runs with five home runs, while batting .560 (14-for-25) over the five-game spread.  Junior pitcher Ben Austin was named to the All-Tournament Team after picking up a pair of victories in both of his starts while Waring, shortstop Michael Gilmartin and second baseman Eric Sturkie were also named to the All-Tournament Team.  Senior Austin Redwine also picked up two victories while Gilmartin and senior Charles Vartanian combined for three saves.

Brandon Waring, a first team all-conference selection, set several records while leading Wofford to the championship, including the most home runs, RBIs, hit and total bases in Southern Conference tournament history.  With 27 home runs on the year, Waring also surpassed the school and conference single season record while also setting new marks for the most homers, RBIs, hits, runs scored, extra base hits and total bases in Wofford’s history.  He is tied with The University of Texas slugger Kyle Russell for the most home runs in the country.  Also, it was announced today by Collegiate Baseball that Waring has been named the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for the second time this season.

The Terriers finished the season by knocking their 106th home run of the season to become the nation’s collegiate home run leader.   Wofford will look to add more to that total when they face The University of South Carolina on Friday, which is the second-best home run hitting team in the nation with 104 homers so far this season.

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