Championship Series Game
2 Recap: South Carolina 2, UCLA 1 (11)
Bradley Shines in Omaha
USC Looks Like Champion Now
and Game Stories
College World Series Capsules
Roth, Price Dig
Deep for Gamecocks
(Photos by Craig Jackson)
OMAHA, Neb. – The
College World Series has its way of finding unlikely heroes.
Michael Roth may be one of the most unlikely to toe the rubber
at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Roth, who had appeared in 35 games in relief
spanning 26.1 innings, hadn’t made a start all season until
Friday, when he tossed a complete game against bitter rival
Clemson as South Carolina fought off elimination and forced a
winner-take-all game with the Tigers. Three nights later, Roth
was handed the ball again, and he tossed five solid innings in
the Gamecocks’ national title win over UCLA.
“I never would even had thought I would start a
game in Omaha,” Roth said, almost looking as if he were dreaming
as he spoke. “I’m honored they called on me.”
Roth was part of a pitching staff that was the
major factor in the Gamecocks winning the national championship.
In 20 innings against the Bruins, South Carolina yielded but two
Roth followed Blake Cooper’s gem in the first
game by wiggling in and out of jams, tossing five innings with
six hits and one earned run. Jose Mata followed with two
scoreless innings, and Tyler Webb and John Taylor bridged the
gap to closer Matt Price with 1.1 perfect innings.
(left), also pitching on short rest, pitched the
final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Combined, the four pitchers allowed eight hits in 11 innings and
struck out seven while walking only three.
“What can you say man, Michael Roth, they’ve been
like that all year long, and Matt Price on fumes, I don’t know
how he did it.” South Carolina pitching coach Mark Calvi said
moments after the Gamecocks won their first college baseball
national title. “I don’t know how those guys did it. John Taylor
and Webb coming in to get his out and Mata. I don’t know Michael
Roth and Matt Price did it, but they did it. And we’re national
Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner and Calvi didn’t
announce Tuesday night’s starter until earlier in the day. And
like his first outing of the College World Series, no one really
knew how long Roth would be able to go.
“I was planning on throwing nine innings again,”
It was evident early on that likely wouldn’t
happen. But the lefty mixed speeds and was around the plate just
enough to limit a patient UCLA attack.
“I really didn’t know how much Roth was going to
have after three days’ rest,” said Cooper, the star of Game 1.
“He hadn’t had a start all year [before Omaha] and he went out
there and competed and got us to the middle innings. And then
Price came in. I know he was tired, but he gutted it out for
As did the entire Gamecocks staff.
“The pitching staff has been unbelievable for us
all year,” said left fielder Evan Marzilli, who went 2 for 5 and
laid down a sacrifice bunt in the 11th inning. “Coach Calvi’s
done a great job. We have tons of guys that want to be out there
in big situations. “Michael Roth came through the other night.
It takes a lot of guts to go out and do what they do.”