Monday afternoon, Carolina baseball resumed its rain-postponed game with Oklahoma to win 5-1, moving on to the Gamecocks’ third-consecutive College World Series, and its 11th overall. It’s the 21st-consecutive postseason win for the defending back-to-back national champions, who dispatched the Sooners with a combined 10-1 mark in the two Super Regional games.
Pete Iacobelli of the Associated Press wrote following the contest, “Once the final pitch to [OU catcher Dylan] Neal was called strike three, [USC pitcher Matt] Price smiled wide and waited for his teammates to pile on. The celebration wasn’t wild or excessive, not from a club which knows too well what it’s like to win with a national title on the line.”
For a team that knows its all is needed, but expects to win, closing out the Super Regional in Columbia still struck a note. Pitcher Michael Roth, the Game One winner, said of that outing, “Well I’d be lying to you if I tried to tell you it was just another game for me. I just tried to go out there, and there was something special about tonight. I’m glad to leave on a high note at this stadium for me, personally.”
What’s next for Carolina? Surprisingly, more of the same. As in, the Gamecocks (45-17) tangle again with Florida (47-18) on Saturday. UF and USC are paired up in Bracket Two of the CWS, in a game that will be televised at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
The Gators took two of three from Carolina in the regular season, then knocked the Gamecocks out of the SEC Tournament. But, that was then, and this is World Series. USC tends to play a little differently in Omaha.
by J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr., who served as the only true independent member of the South Carolina General Assembly from 1990-1998. Currently, he is a general practice attorney in Columbia, S.C., concentrating in probate and estate planning, criminal defense and personal injury law.