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College World Series Schedule 2012: X-Factors in Kent State vs. South Carolina

Photo Credit: Kent State
Photo Credit: Kent State
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 20, 2012

Sometimes it doesn't come down to your stars in a heated game; it comes down to complementary players stepping up and separating you from the competition.

Heading into Kent State vs. South Carolina on Wednesday night in Omaha (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN3), there are just five teams remaining in the 2012 College World Series

Will it be the Gamecocks, winners of the last two championships, or the underdog Golden Flashes, who have already knocked Kentucky, Oregon and Florida out of the tournament?

Here are the X-factors of Kent State vs. South Carolina.

 

Joey Pankake, SS, South Carolina

Photo Credit: AP
Photo Credit: AP

South Carolina leadoff hitter Joey Pankake came into the College World Series hitting .286, but the last two games have seen him go a combined 1-for-10. The Gamecocks have other hitters, obviously, including star Christian Walker, but it would certainly be a boost if Pankake could get back on track.

 

Tyler Skulina, SP, Kent State

Photo Credit: KSU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: KSU Athletics Communications

Underdog Kent State has shown it can put runs on the scoreboard in the tournament, but Tyler Skulina may need to pitch one of his best games of the season on Wednesday for the Golden Flashes to come out on top.

Skulina (11-2) owns a 3.63 ERA and has 97 strikeouts in just over 101 innings this season. The Gamecocks aren't known for their hitting, but they scored seven runs against Florida just two games ago.

 

Evan Campbell, CF, Kent State

Photo Credit: AP
Photo Credit: AP

Since the first game of the Eugene Super Regional, Kent State leadoff hitter Evan Campbell has gone a combined 0-for-16 from the plate. The result? His average has dropped from .336 to .316 in a span of four games.

Campbell went 0-for-5 in Kent State's harrowing 5-4 win over Florida on Monday. The Golden Flashes would love to see him get back to being their spark plug.

 

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