Two Cocky: Gamecocks repeat as national champions

By Daily Gamecock Staff

The Daily Gamecock, U. South Carolina via UWIRE

Before the 2011 season started, South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth said he and his defending national champion teammates would look to keep their temperament “clean and easy” in the weeks and months to come.

Some 69 injury-riddled, drama-laden games later, the Gamecocks are once again the best collegiate team in America. They accomplished this by – at least by their standards for on-field theatre – a surprisingly clean and easy triumph led by Roth himself.

There was no walk-off hit in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Florida to sweep the three-game College World Series finals. Nor was there an improbable double play or devastating throwing errors. It was just a baseball game, and one the Gamecocks won without much doubt ever entering the equation behind 7.2 stellar innings from its ace southpaw.

USC scored three runs in the third after both teams played scoreless in the game’s first two frames. Florida would get a run back the next inning on a solo home run from Mike Zunino, but that was it for the Gators, who several times got multiple runners on base, only to fail to bring them around.

The Gamecocks had their own missed opportunities as well, most notably when they loaded the bases in the fifth inning with two outs, but Florida reliever Tommy Toledo ended the threat, striking out Jake Williams to escape the frame.

A Peter Mooney home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth got USC back the run lost on Zunino’s shot.

UF would pull to within 4-2 and send the tying run to the plate in the ninth, only to see Matt Price end the threat with a strikeout en route to another save and, ultimately, another South Carolina national championship.

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