Tell me if you haven't heard this in the past three years: South Carolina advances to the College World Series.
The Gamecocks, like they always do, find a way to get past a worthy opponent and advance in the next round of the NCAA Tournament. This time, the Gamecocks beat Oklahoma in two straight games to advance to the College World Series. The two wins increased the Gamecocks NCAA-record win streak of 21 games and enables USC to play in its third straight College World Series.
Here are a recap of the two victories for South Carolina in the Super Regional:
- Saturday - Michael Roth stepped up to the mound for his final start at Carolina Stadium and was the player we've grown to love over the past three seasons. Roth threw 7.2 innings giving up just six hits with no runs allowed and three strikeouts. South Carolina added all the runs they needed in the second inning but would add a few insurance runs later in the game. Evan Marzilli and Christian Walker led the way with two hits each and four different players each added an RBI in the ball-game. South Carolina defeats Oklahoma 5-0 to go up 1-0 in the Super Regionals.
- Sunday/Monday - Colby Holmes and Jonathan Gray decided to make this a pitcher's duel and both players didn't disappoint. Neither pitcher allowed a run in their outings that were cut short due to a rain delay. Holmes went 5.0 innings strong with three strikeouts and just one hit. The Gamecocks added two runs on offense in the 7th inning and three runs in the 8th inning. Chase Vergason stepped in with a big two-run double in the 8th inning to give the Gamecocks a cushion on the scoreboard and let Matt Price close this game out for his 11th save of the season. South Carolina wins 5-1 and advances to the College World Series.
It was another outstanding weekend at Carolina Stadium and the fans certainly made it a worthwhile weekend for the Gamecocks. The environment is second to none in college baseball and really gives this team a boost when they need it most. Some of the players commented on how well the crowd was this weekend and got a special feeling when stepping on/off the field for the last time. Great job by the Gamecock fans as usual.
There wasn't a moment this weekend when it didn't seem like the Gamecocks were in trouble once. Sure, there were a few sticky situations especially in the second game, but this team has done what they've done for years: #Battle. This mantra has carried forward through the past two seasons and still shows its face to this day. Ray Tanner has found a way to unify this team behind these rallying crys of the baseball team showing anything is possible when there's a will and a way.
Michael Roth, Adam Matthews, Evan Marzill and Matt Price should all be thanked for their contributions. Each player played a large role in the Gamecocks' success over the past three seasons and it was great to be able to send these guys out winners for their last games at Carolina Stadium.
Now that USC has advanced, the Gamecocks will face off against Florida Saturday night on June 16th at 9 p.m. Florida is the number one seed in the tournament and will do their best to end the 21-game winning streak by the Gamecocks. It may very well end this weekend for the Gamecocks, or, it keeps on riding till they are holding that trophy.
Once again, South Carolina has a chance to end the season as national champions. This is what you ask for when you start the season.