HOOVER, Ala. -- Seventh-seeded Missouri topped tenth-seeded South Carolina 5-1 to advance in the 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament.
"The guys get better as the situation gets tougher," said Missouri coach Tim Jamieson. "When you play your best in this type of environment it says a lot about your character and competitiveness."
Missouri took an early lead in the bottom of the second when Trey Harris singled to score Brett Bond. The Tigers added another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Jake Ivory.
The Gamecocks answered with their only run of the game in the top of the third when Clark Scolamiero scored on a sac fly by DC Arendas.
The Tigers added a run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Trey Harris hit a double to start the inning and crossed the plate when Zach Lavy singled.
In the top of the eighth, South Carolina had runners on second and third with no outs but Missouri closer Breckin Williams retired three batters without allowing a run. Missouri extended its lead in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI groundout by Shane Benes and a sac fly by Zach Lavy.
Reggie McClain (7-7) started on the mound for the Tigers. In seven innings he struck out four, allowing just one unearned run and six hits. Williams came in to pitch two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts, picking up his 13th save, a Missouri single-season record.
"It's a critical game and I was up for it," said McClain. "I just approached it mentally like any other game, just knowing that if I did my part and tried to stay myself when I pitch then we were going to be in good position. Having a back-end guy like Breckin, you know that when he gets in the game it's lights out."
The Tigers improved to 30-26 while the Gamecocks fell to 32-25. The No. 7 seed is Mizzou's highest-ever finish in the SEC.
Missouri moves on to the double-elimination portion of the tournament to play No. 2 seed Vanderbilt in Game 7 tomorrow on SEC Network. The game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 6, which starts at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT.