June 16, 2012

CBI Live: #8 South Carolina 7, #1 Florida 3

CWS Game 4 Notes

Gamecocks with three straight CWS wins over Gators

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder




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 28.



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.