Tuesday, June 28, 2011
South Carolina looks to make CWS history
By Harold Shelton
The South Carolina Gamecocks can capture their second straight College World Series title with a win Tuesday night, while shattering a few records in the process.
The Gamecocks have won 15 straight NCAA Tournament games, tied with the Texas Longhorns for the all-time record. They’ve also won 10 straight CWS games, tied with the LSU Tigers and the USC Trojans for the all-time mark. South Carolina would become the sixth different team to win back-to-back CWS titles.
South Carolina’s run in this year's CWS has been memorable for a number of different reasons. The 4-0 start has been in part due to good defense, timely hitting, great pitching ... and luck:
June 19 vs Texas A&M Aggies
After giving up four runs in the top of the first in its first game in Omaha, South Carolina tied the score in the bottom half against the nation’s win leader, Ross Stripling (14 wins). In the bottom of the ninth -- and still tied -- Scott Wingo's walk-off hit gave the Gamecocks the win, their second straight walk-off win in Omaha (last CWS game vs UCLA in 2010).
June 21 vs No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers
Facing top-seeded Virginia in their second game, the Gamecocks scored six runs in the first four innings against Will Roberts, who suffered just his second loss of the season.
June 24 vs No. 1 Virginia
South Carolina and Virginia went to extra innings with the score tied at two, after the Gamecocks got out of three bases-loaded jams in the final four innings of regulation, all with closer Matt Price on the mound. Price went 5 2/3 innings, throwing 95 pitches. South Carolina scored the winning run in the 13th inning on throwing errors on consecutive sacrifice bunts.
June 27 vs No. 2 Florida Gators
Florida ace Hudson Randall cruised through the first seven innings, retiring 18 of 19 batters at one point. However, the Gamecocks tied the game with a two-out RBI single in the eighth, then got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth and threw a runner out at home to end the 10th inning. Christian Walker (playing with a broken bone in his hand) scored the game-winning run in the 11th on a botched hit-and-run (which resulted in a stolen base), and two throwing errors on the same play.