Omaha, NE (WWBT)- Prince George native Jackie Bradley Jr. led South Carolina to a College World Series title last season and earned a spot on the all-tournament team. The Gamecocks suffered a big loss when Bradley was sidelined in April with a wrist injury, which eventually required surgery, but the junior outfielder appears to be back in full swing for the 2011 edition of the College World Series.
Bradley played for the first time since April 23rd in South Carolina's 5-4 come-from-behind win over Texas A&M on Sunday night and will be looked upon to provide a boost, both at the plate and in centerfield. The junior went 1-for-4 at the plate with a single to keep a ninth inning rally going in the victory over the Aggies. He took batting practice throughout the week and started in centerfield and hit ninth in the Gamecock line-up.
In 38 games this season, the junior outfielder hit .259 with six home runs and 26 RBI. His wrist injury took away USC's top offensive producer from its 2010 national championship season. As a sophomore in 2010, Bradley led the Gamecocks with a .368 batting average, tied for the team lead with 13 home runs and tallied a team high 60 RBI.
Now Bradley and the Gamecocks turn their attention to Virginia on Tuesday night. Bradley is familiar with many players on the Cavalier roster, including Will Roberts and Tyler Wilson, from AAU ball in the Richmond area. He said that he's looking forward to facing those familiar faces following practice on Monday.
South Carolina and Virginia face off at 7:00pm on Tuesday night. The winner moves onto the semifinals of the College World Series on Friday. The loser will play Thursday night in hopes of earning a semifinal berth.