South Carolina Makes it Back to Back CWS Titles

South Carolina Makes it Back to Back CWS Titles

South Carolina wins second consecutive College World Series title.South Carolina celebrates their second consecutive College World Series title.

words // Nick Engvall

If last year’s South Carolina CWS victory was out with the old, in with the new, then this year’s second consecutive College World Series title means that the Gamecocks are college baseball powerhouses now, right?

Maybe consider that the South Carolina Gamecocks became only the 6th team in history to win back to back College World Series titles. Impressive, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface for this school’s building legacy. The Gamecocks victory over the Florida Gators in Omaha last night gives them 11 straight victories in College World Series play, a new all-time record, one that could potentially continue next year. Yesterday’s victory also gives them 16 straight wins in NCAA Tournament games, also a record that has the potential to continue.

South Carolina was carried by Michael Roth who pitched 7 2/3 innings on just three days’ rest. Roth finishes the season with a record of 14-3 and his College World Series ERA over 5 starts was just 1.17. Roth’s performance earned him the victory in the championship game, an achievement the college junior wasn’t quite able to accomplish despite starting last year’s title game for South Carolina. It worked out for the better however, as Michael’s father,whose work kept him from last year’s CWS, was able to attend this year’s College World Series.

Check out some of the baseball equipment spotted in the championship game below and be sure to add Eastbay Baseball on Facebook at

Michael Roth delivers wearing a Rawlings baseball glove.Michael Roth delivers wearing a Rawlings baseball glove.

Florida's Karsten Whitson wearing Nike baseball cleats.Florida’s Karsten Whitson wearing Nike baseball cleats.

Mike Zunino wearing Easton catcher's equipment.Mike Zunino wearing Easton catcher’s equipment.

A look at Whitson's Easton baseball glove.A look at Whitson’s Easton baseball glove.

Christian Walker of South Carolina using the Rawlings 5150 baseball bat and Under Armour cleats.Christian Walker of South Carolina using the Rawlings 5150 baseball bat and Under Armour cleats.

What's a College World Series title victory without a dog pile?What’s a College World Series title victory without a dog pile?



South Carolina Wins First National Title

South Carolina Wins First National Title

words_Nick Engvall

Out with the old, and in with the new. That’s how the saying goes and that’s exactly what happened in this year’s College World Series.

The South Carolina Gamecocks men’s baseball team won their first ever national title for the school, and as they celebrated their incredible feat, fans of college baseball, and more specifically the fans in Omaha, say goodbye to the stadium the at has been home to the College World Series for the last sixty years. Rosenblatt Stadium has been home to the College Wolrd Series since 1940, but next year the series will move into TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, where the NCAA has signed a deal to keep it until 2035.Whit Merrifield of South Carolina - College World Series

The Gamecocks path to the title illustrates their determination beautifully. It began with a loss in their opening game of the tournament, which may have gotten most teams down. South Carolina went on to win every game thereafter, despite being an underdog in most, and nearly being knocked out of the tournament against Oklahoma, where with two outs and two strikes, a single from Jackie Bradley Jr. kept their hopes of a title alive.

When the Gamecocks reached the championship series, their pitching was dominant. After Blake Cooper dominated in game 1, it was a handful of pitchers that held the UCLA Bruins to just one run over 11 innings  in game 2. It was Matt Price who went 2 2/3 innings striking out 3 to get the win.

The Gamecocks’ Whit Merrifield singled in the game winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to end a 1-1 tie and give South Carolina their only second national title in school history, the first came in 2002 in Women’s Track and Field.

While winning a the school’s first major sports national title is unbelievable, Price said it best about winning the last game at Rosenblatt Stadium, “To be the last team to win it here, that’s amazing.”

Rosenblatt Stadium2010 College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium

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image via yahoo

South Carolina Wins First National Title

Blake Cooper Dominates the Bruins in CWS

words_Nick Engvall

When an athlete finds him or herself competing at the pinnacle event of their sport, their performance can define their future.Blake Cooper of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2010 College World Series

For South Carolina’s Blake Cooper, his performance all but guaranteed himself a future in baseball. Cooper, coming off of just three days rest, pitched an incredible game against UCLA in the first game of the 2010 College World Series. Blake went 8 innings, giving up only 3 hits and striking out 10 as the Gamecocks took game one of the best-of-three series 7-1. In fact it wasn’t until the ninth inning that Cooper even started to give the Bruins a chance, until then he had only given up one hit the entire night.

Cooper’s control and precision on the mound is what seemed to perplex Bruins batters. With his fastball in the 80s all night, it was the other pitches in his repertoire that made him nearly un-hittable. Cooper used a dominating sinker, and the movement on his curve ball and slider to keep UCLA’s offense off balance in the batter’s box.

The South Carolina offense seemed to come up with all the big hits when they needed them. Short stop Bobby Haney had a career high three runs batted in, while going 2 for 3.

Both South Carolina and UCLA are looking for their school’s very first national championship in college baseball. With game one going to South Carolina, the Bruins will look to keep their hopes alive tonight, while South Carolina looks to solidify their team as the best in the school’s history with a victory.

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image via yahoo

South Carolina Wins First National Title

2010 College World Series Championship Series

words_Nick Engvall

On Saturday, South Carolina and UCLA came away with victories to land them in the 2010 College World Series Finals.

For South Carolina, it was a 4-3 victory over the rival Clemson Tigers that landed them in the best-of-three championship series. A solid pitching effort from starter Sam Dyson who went 6 and 1/3 innings, followed up by an equally impressive 2 and 2/3 innings from reliever Matt Price, combined to shut down the opponents offense the way the Gamecocks’ pitching staff has done all season.

In the bottom of the seventh Christian Walker, who had homered earlier in the game, singled in the go ahead run for South Carolina. Then in the top of the ninth with Clemson threatening, Walker made a diving stop at first base for the final out that gave South Carolina the victory, and a chance to win a title since they runner-up in 2002.

South Carolina will face another dominant pitching team tonight when the College World Series Championship Series against UCLA begins.

For the Bruins, the school is an athletic powerhouse. Yet, the baseball team has never won a championship, and this is only their third appearance in the College World Series, the first since 1997.

If Saturday’s 10-3 victory over TCU is any forewarning, the Bruins baseball team is tired of being one of the only sports not contributing to UCLA’s 106 national titles. The Bruins offense unloaded on TCU pitching and Trevor Bauer was dominating on the mound with 13 strikeouts in eight innings of work.

For this afternoon’s first game of the series, it will be Gerrit Cole (11-3, 3.26 ERA) of UCLA, against Blake Cooper (12-2, 2.86 ERA) of South Carolina. If you think that the pitching matchup looks evenly matched, consider how these teams compare against each other.

The Bruins are 51-15, are batting .308 as a team and average 7.1 runs per game, and have a team ERA of 3.01. The Gamecocks are 52-16 with a .301 team batting average that puts up 7.2 runs per game on the scoreboard.

The only stat that is not nearly identical is in the ERA department, where South Carolina’s pitching gives up slightly more runs per game with a 3.53 ERA.

With that said, this championship series could be the most evenly matched and exciting we’ve seen in a number of years.

You can catch game one later today on ESPN HD/ ESPN3 at 7:30 EST.

image via yahoo

South Carolina Wins First National Title

NCAA: College World Series Field is Set

words_Nick Engvall

NCAA: Colege World Series 2010Last night Cody Reine blasted not one, but two two-run home runs to give the Oklahoma Sooners their first College World Series appearance since 1995. Reine’s two home runs gave him a total in the last two days the Sooners defeated Virginia for the final spot in Omaha, where they will look to add another national championship to their list, a feat they last accomplished in 1994. With their current hitting hot streak and momentum, as the last team in the final eight to win a College World Series, it looks as if the Sooners might be a slight favorite to win it all at this point.

Oklahoma will face South Carolina on Sunday in their first game of the College World Series, which features eight teams in a double elimination style tournament for the first round, then continue on in best-of-three format later this month.

Along with Oklahoma and South Carolina in the first bracket of the College World Series, will be top ranked Arizona State who last won in 1981, and Clemson who hasn’t been to the College World Series since 2006, and has never won a title in its previous 11 appearances. For the Sun Devils, this will be their first College World Series in the now 22 times they’ve been involved that they will carry the number one seed, a burden that also doubles as a target on your back.

On the other side of the bracket, the Horned Frogs of TCU, making their first appearance in school history, will take on Florida State to start off the College World Series on Saturday, June 19th at 2PM EST. That game will be followed by third ranked Florida, in their first appearance since 2005, against the  seventh ranked UCLA Bruins, who hasn’t been in the series since 1997, at 7PM EST.

With such a low number of “regulars” in this year’s eight team World Series, this year is sure to be exciting from start to finish.