The Arizona Wildcats have a tough task ahead of them against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2012 College World Series. They can win, but it won't be easy.
The Gamecocks are poised to win their third straight CWS title. They have the pitching, the bats and the coaching to get the job done. It will take a methodical, disciplined plan on Arizona's part to keep them from becoming only the third team in CWS history to win three championships in a row.
Here is what the Wildcats must do from a statistical standpoint to stop the juggernaut that is the South Carolina baseball team.
Score More than Six Runs
This task is easier said than done. The Gamecocks are a high-scoring team that generated more than six runs 27 times this year, according to GamecocksOnline.com. They are vulnerable to defeat, though, accumulating a record of 6-7 when opponents scored more than six runs against them.
If any team can do it, it's the Wildcats, who have scored more than six runs 39 times this season, according to grfx.cstv.com.
It will be interesting to see which side prevails: the Gamecocks and their pitching, or the Wildcats and their hitting.
Score in the First Inning
The Gamecocks are extremely dangerous when their starting pitchers get off to good starts, but they are capable of being beaten when opponents score in the first inning, accumulating a record of 7-9 in those cases.
Conversely, the Wildcats are almost unbeatable when they put runs on the scoreboard in the first inning, recording 20 wins and just five losses under those circumstances.
The Wildcats must score early and often if they have any hopes of defeating the Gamecocks.
Out-Hit The Gamecocks
As compelling as the previous stats have been, this last one is the real deal.
In games where the Wildcats have out-hit their opponents, they are 41-4. In games where their opponents have out-hit them, the Wildcats are an abysmal 2-12.
It doesn't get much more black and white than that. Arizona must score first, score often and out-hit the Gamecocks to have a chance at thwarting a three-peat by South Carolina.