HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 3 seed Kentucky held No. 11 seed South Carolina to just one hit before Gamecock pinch hitter TJ Hopkins' 3 RBI homer over the left-field wall gave South Carolina a 3-1 lead. The Gamecocks advance to face LSU in the semifinals tomorrow.
"He's got a really good slider," Hopkins said. "He was very effective against us when we played them in the regular season at home. I just kept that in the back of my mind and I just tried to hit the ball the other way and it was 2-0 and he hung one and I just got the bat head out front."
This is the first time South Carolina has won three games in the same SEC Tournament since 2004. The Gamecocks are 2-0 against Kentucky in SEC Tournament elimination games.
RHP Adam Hill carried the load for South Carolina, only allowing three hits and one run over six innings.
South Carolina RHP Tyler Johnson earned his 10th save of the year and says he got some motivation from shortstop LT Tolbert.
"LT is my roommate, so he knows me pretty well and he thinks I pitch better when I'm pissed off," Johnson said. "I can't exactly say what he said but he told me I should put the ball in the zone and they ain't really going to be able to hit it. That really kind of fired me up. I appreciate it."
UP NEXT: South Carolina faces #2 seed LSU in the semifinals on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 1 pm ET on SEC Network.