Mighty Cocks come up just short, receive hero’s welcome in Columbia

At one point this season, Carolina’s postseason was seriously in doubt. Could the Gamecocks make it to, or make it through a regional? Certainly. It only took a 5-4 extra-inning win and a 4-3 decision over Clemson. The Super Regional was a breeze in comparison, with 5-0 and 5-1 wins against Oklahoma.

But the College World Series was like a trip back to the SEC Tournament, necessitating a dispatching of Florida and two elimination games against Arkansas. One of those wins coming the same day after beating Kent State in another elimination game.

Perhaps it wasn’t much of a surprise that, after playing three elimination games in two days, Carolina dropped both games in the CWS championship series to Arizona. It was the fourth time USC has been the runner-up in the CWS, but its third consecutive showing in the final after back-to-back national titles. Only Texas, 1983-1985, played for the championship three straight times, and the Longhorns ended up one title short of the Gamecocks.

“We battled as hard as we could,” Carolina head coach Ray Tanner said, “but they did a little bit better than we did. They played great defense, had timely hitting and clutch pitching as well. Although we’re disappointed tonight, I’m not disappointed with my players. We battled hard. We’ve worked extremely hard, and we made a run. But this is a national championship for the University of Arizona, and we congratulate them.”

This season had its share of memorable moments, and perhaps took a turn in the Gamecocks’ favor when a fish went with the team to Auburn.

Before the regular season series at Arkansas, Gamecock Central‘s David Cloninger wrote, “The Gamecocks’ newest mascot – [L.B.] Dantzler’s pet betta fish named Reptar – has become the darling of the baseball program over the past three weeks, ever since it was revealed that Dantzler, fearful of leaving the fish at home alone, took him on the team’s trip to Auburn. USC swept the series, inspiring a craze; Reptar was in the dugout and around the offices for the team’s home series against Alabama, and USC also swept.”

And with the 2012 Gamecock effort at an end, the fans turned out to Carolina Stadium to welcome the team back to Columbia. Speaking to the crowd, pitcher Michael Roth said, “Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock. I can’t say thank you enough for all the support you have show to me personally but also the team all year.”

Of course, pitcher Matt Price said he made sure to talk to the younger players after the CWS about getting better so that Carolina can make another run next season. Something tells me they will. This Clemson Grad just hopes the Tigers end up in different regional!



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.

With Wes Wolfe. He wrote for 11 newspapers in five states and is the marketing coordinator for ACEC Virginia.

Posted in Legal Advice

20 thoughts on “Mighty Cocks come up just short, receive hero’s welcome in Columbia

  1. John on said:

    They made it to the College World Series three years in a row and won twice. Regardless of which team you support this is great for our state.

  2. Polly Thompson on said:

    I am always proud to be a Gamecock! What Coach Tanner accomplishes every year is amazing: excellent student athletes who make their fans and their families proud. The simple fact that they made it to Omaha is impressive. Only 8 schools go each year! For us to even go 3 years in a row is remarkable. Good job Gamecock Baseball and Coach Tanner. Forever to thee!

  3. John Williams on said:

    Congrats to the Gamecocks! What a thrill it was to watch the Regionals, Super Regionals and the CWS! Congrats also to Arizona. They deserved to win the Championship. We’ll be back next year. Go Gamecocks!

  4. Kenny Harrell on said:

    Ray Tanner is the man – I see a future a.d. So many kids to acknowledge but Roth and Price will go down in Carolina history as clutch players who created more glory for the university than we ever dreamed was possible. Thanks for the tribute Bubba.

  5. JUNE-BUG SHISSIAS on said:

    With the exception of one player, all Arizona players were batting way over .300 Those odds were impossible to overcome However, our team played with class, focus and heartfelt enthusiasm. They are heros in my book. I’m mighty proud of them

  6. Paul Abrams on said:

    Their saying this year was Win anyway. They won the hearts of thousands. They never gave up. Very proud of the freshman players, and hats off to the senior’s. They will return, stronger and more determined.

  7. Donna on said:

    I always applaud good sportsmanship. And Coach Ray Tanner seems like a genuine class act. Tigers or Gamecocks….you have to give the Gamecocks’ players and baseball coach respect for what they accomplished. IN THE MEANTIME, still gotta be orange or be ostracized from my family. If you put all the Clemson rings together you could more than fill up that Reptar beta fish bowl.

  8. Kimberly Waldera on said:

    “The Gamecock Baseball Team has brought fame and respect to the Palmetto State like none other” Seriously??? You know I love you, but that is quite possibly THE most ridiculous statement I’ve ever known you to make (and let’s be honest…I’ve known you to make a few ridiculous statements.) With Clemson’s baseball tradition, it is sad that you would give so much credit to USC’s new found success over the last few years. I must say…and in the most stern Cromer voice I can muster…”You must never abandon your family…” And I, of course, mean your primary family…

    • cromeradmin on said:

      i would reply but my voice would be muffled due to the fact that i am hanging my head in SHAME. (and i cant type because i think you broke the bones in my hamd whenyou smacked the shit out of it with that wooden spoon!)

  9. Polly Thompson on said:

    And as for Arizona player Refsnyder tweeting that SC “doesn’t accept Asians playing baseball”, dude! Really? You were being heckled because your team was winning and fans were pissed. I hope he enjoys the Yankee farm team, the Charleston River Dogs. He needs to get over himself!!!

  10. Jan on said:

    It is a wonderful time to have a son at USC. In Public Health. Go Gamecocks.

  11. Jan on said:

    WTF is that really your Tweet photo on your website? The photo inside the maple syrup?

    • cromeradmin on said:

      Omg that would be “aunt jemamiah syrup”? An american staple for 75 years and a movie prop. Take a breath. You’ re in America.

  12. Buford Pusser on said:

    Oh Jan, calm down. My girlfriends are also in Public Health. Congrats to Ray Tanner. A wolf pack alum finally doing things the right way.

  13. Barbara Jones on said:

    Coming from a die-hard Tiger fan, this is high praise. Thanks for recognizing our guys. Hopefully next year we’ll BOTH be there!

  14. Toni Elkins on said:

    It was a double blessing at our house during the college world series. My son grraduated from U. Of Arizona, and all us Elkins are Gamecock fans! There could be no losers here. We are extremely proud of Ray Tanner and his team. They represent everything a first class team should be! Our state is lucky. Mighty Proud!

  15. BufordPusser on said:

    He said it in response to idiot gamecock fans who have zero class. Not all fans, just the idiots.

  16. Cheryl Cooper on said:

    We here in Tucson salute you!

  17. ANDREW WILLIAMS "GO DOGS" on said:


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