June 16, 2012
CBI Live: #8
South Carolina 7, #1 Florida 3
CWS Game 4
Gamecocks with three straight
CWS wins over Gators
By Phil Stanton
South Carolina has now won three straight against
Florida in the College World Series. The Gamecocks took two from
the Gators in the 2011 CWS championship series.
The Gamecocks are 27-1 in the NCAA Tournament
over the past three seasons, the top three-year winning
percentage in tourney history. Teams must have appeared in at
least two of the three years to qualify.
The last time the two teams which played for the
championship the previous year met in the first round of the CWS
was in 1960. Oklahoma State defeated Arizona 5-3 in the 1959
title game. The Wildcats defeated the Cowboys 2-1 in the first
round of the 1960 CWS.
There were several outstanding defensive plays in
the contest. The Gamecocks’ Joey Pankake hit a grounder in the
hole at short in the top of the eighth. Nolan Fontana of the
Gators made a slick sliding stop, bounced up quickly and fired
to first in time to get Pankake. Daniel Pigott of Florida lined
a ball into left center to lead off the bottom of the eighth.
South Carolina centerfielder Evan Marzilli made a tremendous
diving catch on the ball.
"Off the bat, I didn't think I was going to get
it," Marzilli said. "The ball was hit pretty well. But I kept
sprinting as hard as I could. On those you don't know until the
last second whether you're going to get them or not. I laid out
and it landed in my glove. But it was up there with one of my
best ones, I think."
Michael Roth made his sixth career CWS start,
second only to J.D. Arteaga of Miami (Fla.) with seven from
1994-97. Roth is fifth in CWS history with a 1.61 ERA (eight
earned runs in 44.2 innings). Roth is also the fourth to record
a CWS victory in three different years, joining Carl Thomas of
Arizona (1954, ‘55, ‘56), Greg Widman of USC (1970, ’71, ’72)
and Allan Westfall of Miami (1994, ’95, ’96).
Christian Walker has 22 career CWS hits, fourth
on the all-time list. Dustin Ackley of North Carolina leads with
Preston Tucker of Florida had a two-run double in
the third to give him 258 career RBI, the highest total among
active Division I players. He also leads all active players with
595 total bases. Tucker has 70 career doubles, trailing Jimmy
Rider (77) of Kent State and Eduardo Gonzalez (73) of Alcorn
State. Tucker has 41 RBI in 29 career NCAA tourney games.