The University of South Carolina is accustomed to winning championships in baseball, so to be behind a game against the Arizona Wildcats is not a position they are accustomed to. This pedigree of success, however, is what makes South Carolina a dangerous team built to come back.
First of all, the Gamecocks already had to fight back after losing to Arkansas in the second round of the tournament.
After falling to Arkansas 2-1, the Gamecocks pitching staff took over, holding Kent State to one run. They then took on Arkansas again, except this time, the pitching staff was dominant, holding the Razorbacks to just two runs over two games.
Arizona's offense is the strongest that the Gamecocks have faced, though, and it showed in Game 1, a 5-1 Wildcat victory.
If the Gamecocks can't hold the Wildcats from scoring, they can't win.
Fortunately, the Gamecocks have some of the best pitching and fielding in college baseball, being 10th in the country in ERA and fourth in fielding percentage.
The Gamecocks' pitchers will have to lead them back from their 0-1 deficit, and they should be more than up to the task.
Despite Arizona's fearsome offense, the Gamecocks can stop them. They did not use any of their top pitchers during the first game, so Michael Roth, Colby Holmes and Matt Price should all be fresh for the final two games.
Michael Roth has never been credited with a loss in his seven CWS starts, and he's been absolutely magnificent in the biggest situations.
Holmes is no slouch himself, with a 7-2 record and an ERA hovering at 3.05.
Regardless of who starts Game 2, the Gamecocks can feel comfortable that they will get a solid performance out of their starter.
As long as the fielding holds up, the Gamecocks will be fine on defense. Their poor performance in the field did hurt against the Wildcats in Game 1, however, so improvement will be necessary.
The hitting, however, needs to come through as well, and that's an area that was a bust in the first game.
The Gamecocks were outhit by the Wildcats 12-6, and they are barely in the Top 200 in the country in batting average.
Ultimately, the Gamecocks' lack of offense could be their undoing, but this pitching staff is too good to let another game fall out of its grasp.
In a low-scoring affair, the Gamecocks should tie the series and set the stage for a dramatic third game for Tuesday.
The game is scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game on ESPN.
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