June 25, 2010

Game 12 Notes

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Roth goes the distance as South Carolina quiets Clemson

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – It was an unexpected surprise for the Gamecocks.


Sophomore lefty Michael Roth tossed a complete-game three-hitter as South Carolina defeated Clemson in Game 12 of the 2010 College World Series in front of 22,194 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Gamecocks (51-16) and the Tigers (45-24) will meet again on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. The winner will advance to the CWS Championship Series.


“We played a near-perfect game today for us,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner (right). “We played extremely well. We manufactured some runs early. We played pretty solid defense. And what can you say about Michael Roth’s performance?”


Roth (2-1) walked one and struck out four. He faced just six batters over the minimum.


“I told Coach I’d throw until my arm fell off,” Roth said. “I didn’t expect to go nine innings. But I really expected to go five. I just kept taking it one inning at a time.”


It was the 36th appearance and first start of the season for Roth.


“You don’t see a sidearm lefty very often,” Roth said. “They tried to make adjustments, but I just kept coming in on them. Whenever they backed off the plate a little bit, I’d keep coming in. And they just kept jamming themselves. I mainly threw fastballs in and sliders away.”


He had worked a total of 26.1 innings. Only once had he pitched more that 1.2 innings and that was 3.1 innings in relief in the regionals against Bucknell. He made two starts as a freshman, with his longest stint being 4.1 innings.


“He’s been an outstanding pitcher for us all year,” Tanner said, “and my confidence level was that he would get the game going for us and we’d have a chance through three or four and we’d have to figure out what we were going to do. And then he kept stretching it out. That was one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever had a young man pitch for me.”


Only one leadoff hitter reached for the Tigers. Richie Shaffer had a leadoff double in the bottom of the third, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball.


Only once did Roth face more than four batters in an inning. Wilson Boyd reached on a one-out error and moved to second on Spercer Kieboom’s base hit. But Roth got a fielder’s choice and a fly out to left to end the threat.


South Carolina scored single runs in each of the first four innings. Evan Marzilli had a leadoff double and scored on a groundout by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the first. Brady Thomas had a leadoff double in the second and came home on a base hit by Adrian Morales. Marzilli drew a one-out walk and came in on a double by Bradley to make it 3-0.


Kyle Enders homered with two away in the fourth, his third of the season, to give the Gamecocks a 4-1 advantage.


“I only had two coming in,” Enders said. “To hit one in the College World Series is definitely an honor for me. He had thrown me two previous curveballs. I was 2-1. I was sitting on a fastball in and I got it.”


Enders added a run-scoring single in the sixth to complete the scoring.


Enders and Thomas both finished with two hits for the Gamecocks.


No Tiger had more than one hit.


“We didn’t get any flow offensively going,” said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett. “We got behind early. But this ballgame’s over. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve just got to come back tomorrow and be ready to play.”

(photo by Jimmy Jones)