June 28, 2011
Roth pitches Gamecocks to
second national title
By Phil Stanton
(photo by Eric Sorenson,
College Baseball Today)
Neb. – Michael Roth pitched 7.2 strong innings to lead
fourth-seeded South Carolina past second-seeded Florida 5-2
Tuesday to clinch the championship series of the 2011 College
World Series in front of a stadium-record crowd of 26,721 at TD
The Gamecocks (55-14) won its second straight
national championship, the final CWS at Rosenblatt Stadium and
the first at the TD Ameritrade Park.
“It's difficult to put into words what we've
experienced in the last few days,” USC head coach Ray Tanner
said, “and having been at Rosenblatt last year and having the
good fortune of closing that out and getting an opportunity to
come to TD Ameritrade, of course you get here you want to win a
game or two. And we've played some great baseball while we were
here and it's hard for me to understand it all right now. I'll
have to let it sink in a little bit.”
Roth (14-3) surrendered five hits and two earned
runs with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Gamecocks broke through in the bottom of the
third. Peter Mooney ripped a leadoff double down the left field
line and was sacrificed to third by Robert Beary. Evan Marzilli
walked before Scott Wingo, the CWS Most Outstanding Player,
lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Mooney with the game’s
first run. Bradley drew a walk prior to Christian Walker
reaching on an error, scoring Marzilli and moving Bradley to
third. An infield hit by Brady Thomas brought home Bradley to
give USC a 3-0 advantage.
The Gators got on the board in the top of the
fourth as Mike Zunino went deep to left, his 19th home run, to
make it a 3-1 contest.
USC had a chance to add to its lead in the fifth.
Walker and Thomas had consecutive two-out singles and Adrian
Morales was hit by a pitch to load the bases, ending the night
for UF freshman starter Karsten Whitson (4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER,
2 BB, 4 K). Tommy Toledo entered and struck out Jake Williams to
end the threat.
Mooney led off the sixth with a line drive homer
to right, his fourth, to extend the USC lead to 4-1.
Florida closed the gap in the top of the eighth.
Zunino had a one-out double and moved to third on a groundout by
Preston Tucker, which ended the night for Roth. John Taylor,
making his 50th appearance of the season, allowed a single to
Josh Adams that brought in Zunino as the margin narrowed to 4-2.
Matt Price entered and struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Thompson
looking to end the frame.
The Gamecocks added a huge insurance run in the
bottom of the eighth. Beary led off with a single up the middle
and was sacrificed to second by Marzilli. Following a wild
pitch, Wingo singled to right over a drawn-in infield to push
the advantage to 5-2.
Price retired the side in order in the bottom of
the ninth to notch his 20th save.
Mooney finished with two hits, two runs and two
RBI, while Walker and Thomas both finished with a pair of hits.
Wingo drove in two and had six assists.
“He’s been so valuable to this program for a
long, long time,” Tanner said about Wingo, “and this was his
best year offensively. He loves this. He loves our fans. He
loves being on this stage. But the most important thing about
Scott Wingo is he’s a good player, but he has fun. He’ll strike
out and he’s still having fun. That’s the way you have to take
this game. He enjoys what he does.”
Zunino went 3 for 3 with a walk and two runs for