Championship Series Game
2 Recap: South Carolina 2, UCLA 1 (11)
Bradley Shines in Omaha
Roth, Price Dig Deep for Gamecocks
and Game Stories
College World Series Capsules
USC Looks Like
(Photos by Craig Jackson)
OMAHA, Neb. – In its
opening game of the NCAA tournament, South Carolina didn’t look
much like a national title contender.
Bucknell, which had shocked Florida State in
Tallahassee in 2008, was leading the Gamecocks 5-1 in the
seventh inning of opening round of the Columbia Regional. Coming
off of two losses in the SEC Tournament in which South Carolina
scored one run in 21 innings against Ole Miss and Auburn, the
Garnet and Black faithful at Carolina Stadium were getting
The Gamecocks still trailed 5-4 in the eighth,
but Jackie Bradley Jr.’s two-run homer gave them a lead, and
Adrain Morales added a three-run jack as South Carolina escaped.
“I know that we’ve won some games and the players
and coaches on the other side of the field were thinking,
‘they’re not that good,’” coach Ray Tanner said after his
Gamecocks beat UCLA 2-1 in 11 innings to win their first
national title. “But we were a good team. Even after tonight,
we’re not a great team, but we’ve been a really, really special
baseball team that approached it the right way and found a way
South Carolina trailed in each of the next two
games but ended up winning the Regional. It followed that up
with two one-run wins at Coastal Carolina to reach Omaha.
It didn’t get any easier once the Gamecocks
reached Omaha. They opened their stay by dropping a 4-3 affair
to Oklahoma, setting up an elimination date with No. 1 Arizona
South Carolina stomped the Sun Devils to start a
remarkable six-game winning streak to win the national title.
Included was a heart-stopping 3-2 win in 12 innings against
Oklahoma. The Gamecocks were down to their last strike when
Bradley singled in the game-tying run in the bottom of the 12th
and scored the winning run on Brady Thomas’ single.
“We like to win hard,” Bradley said Tuesday
night. “We like it the hard way.”
Also included were two wins over Clemson, the
second a 4-3 thriller in which Christian Walker and Morales had
two-out RBI singles in the seventh to eliminate the Tigers.
In all, South Carolina had four wins in the NCAA
Tournament where it trailed after seven innings, including the
best of all, Tuesday night’s national championship. During the
regular season, the Gamecocks had only one win in which they
trailed after seven.
“We’ve had situations like this all year where
we’ve been down and had to battle,” said Evan Marzilli on the
Rosenblatt infield after the championship win.
Good teams battle. Great teams win.