June 25, 2012
Game 2 Notes
Arizona edges South Carolina to
claim national title
Gilbert deliver key ninth-inning hits for Wildcats
By Phil Stanton
Photos by Pete LaFleur, CollegeBaseball360.com,
Neb. – The king is dead, long live the
Arizona scored three in the top of the ninth and
hung on to defeat two-time defending national champion South
Carolina 4-1 Monday to sweep the College World Series
championship series in front of 23,872 fans at TD Ameritrade
The Wildcats (48-17) claim their four national
title and first since 1986. The Gamecocks (49-20) finished
second for the fourth time in program history.
“These are great ones to win and tough ones to
lose,” said Arizona head coach Andy Lopez. “And I've been on
both ends. I thought it was a great college baseball game.
“We got a big hit in the ninth. We were fortunate
enough to win against an outstanding pitching staff and an
With the score tied at 1, CWS Most Outstanding
Player Robert Refsnyder led off the top of the ninth with a
single to left against closer Matt Price. After falling behind
0-2, Seth Mejias-Brean got down the sacrifice bunt to advance
Refsnyder to second. Bobby Brown was intentionally walked,
bringing sophomore Brandon Dixon to the plate.
Dixon was a defensive replacement at first base
in the sixth. His first at-bat of the game came with runners on
the corners with two away in the seventh against Price. With a
chance to add to a 1-0 lead, Dixon hit a foul pop to first to
make him 0-7 in the CWS.
On a 1-1 pitch in the ninth, Dixon laced a ball
just inside the bag at third that went for a double, plating
Refsnyder with the go-ahead run and moving Brown to third.
“I got a 1‑1 count,” Dixon said, “and I was
sitting on a slider. I got it and rolled it over, through the
third baseline, and got the run in.”
Lopez almost didn’t give Dixon a chance to hit.
“I was going to pinch hit for him,” Lopez said,
“and my assistant coach, Matt Siegel, looked at me and I looked
at him, and he shook his head no. I went, OK, I'll go with the
guy's gut. But he obviously came through.”
After Tyler Webb came in from the bullpen Riley
Moore fanned for the second out, freshman Trent Gilbert stepped
to the plate. He entered the game having gone 1 for 13 in the
CWS, but capped a 2-for-4 day with a two-run single to right to
extend the lead to 4-1.
“It's no secret the juniors, they're the main
contributors throughout the season,” Gilbert said. “But with me
and some of the other younger guys, I think we feel just as
confident in those situations. So when we get a chance like
that, I like our chances as well.”
The champs would not go quietly. Christian Walker
singled and L.B. Dantzler walked to start the bottom of the
ninth. After a strikeout, Kyle Martin walked to load the bases.
Tanner English lined a ball that looked to be headed to center
field. Gilbert made a diving catch at second and nearly doubled
up Dantzler at second to end the contest. With two away, Grayson
Greiner flew out to Refsnyder in right to ignite the Wildcat
“We battled as hard as we could,” said South
Carolina head coach Ray Tanner, “but they did a little bit
better than we did. They played great defense, had timely
hitting and clutch pitching as well.
“Although we're disappointed tonight, I'm not
disappointed with my players. We battled hard. We've worked
extremely hard, and we made a run. But this is a national
championship for the University of Arizona, and we congratulate
Matthew Troupe (6-1) got the win in relief for
Arizona. He struck out Joey Pankake looking to end the eighth
with the go-ahead run at third. Troupe went 1.1 innings with one
hit, two walks and two strikeouts.
Wildcat starter James Farris
(left) was outstanding,
going 7.2 innings with two hits, one run, two walks and four
“He was outstanding,” Lopez said about Farris.
“We had a plan. I thought we could have a plan against South
Carolina. But I've done it too many times where you go into the
game, you have a plan and guys don't locate. And before you know
it, forget about the plan, you've got to go get another arm.
Short of the base on balls and hit batsman, I thought he was
In his final appearance in Omaha, Michael Roth
had another terrific start for the Gamecocks. He went 6.2
innings with three hits, one run, one walk and three strikeouts.
Roth set CWS career records with eight starts, 60.1 innings and
seven hit batsmen.
Price (1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K) suffered the
loss for South Carolina.
Arizona took the lead in the top of the third.
Joseph Maggi had a leadoff double just inside the third base
bag, snapping Roth’s streak to 28 straight retired over two
games. He was sacrificed to third and scored on a groundout by
Gilbert to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
South Carolina tied it in the bottom of the
seventh. Walker drew a leadoff walk in a 12-pitch at-bat. He
moved to third on a one-out single to right by Adam Matthews and
scored on a slow chopper to first to knot the score at 1.
The Gamecocks stranded seven, including three in
the ninth and five over the final three innings. The Wildcats
left six on base, five over the final three frames.