Two-time defending College World Series champion South Carolina will see its historic run come to an end by Arizona. The Gamecocks will be going against a team that has just as much fight as they have and will be competing for their third straight title.
There is no doubt that the two teams are as evenly matched as any two have been over the past five years for the College World Series.
Arizona has a record of 38-17 and South Carolina has a record of 40-17—the two additional games that were won by the Gamecocks being the only difference in record this season.
Despite being a great match for each other by record, there is a huge style difference between the two teams.
While Arizona is an offensive juggernaut, with 469 runs and a .330 average for the season, South Carolina is known more for its pitching, with just a 2.95 ERA all year. This creates the classic case of a great top-notch offense against game-controlling, major-league-caliber pitching and defense (All stats courtesy the NCAA Official website).
The Wildcats provide an interesting matchup that the Gamecocks haven't seen all year. They haven't seen the same kind of ridiculously good offense that Arizona relies on. That offense doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon and it should be able continue its success against the talent Carolina staff.
Arizona has excellent pitching as well, with an ERA of 3.79 for the season. It has three starters who have been able to go the distance a combined 14 times and have pitched well over the course of the season.
It also have gotten great play out of the bullpen during the College World Series this year and needs to get more of the same to dethrone the national champions.
South Carolina's offense isn't amazing, though, as it has the 197th-best batting average in the college ranks with just a .268 average. That's .062 less than Arizona's and will be the main difference between the two teams.
They both have good pitching, but Arizona's dominant offense will be what leads them to a victory in this year's series.
The Gamecocks have had a great run over the past three years and should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished, but they will not be winning the national championship again this year.
Arizona will finally be that team who can change the guard at the top of the college baseball ranks.