Statistics don't matter. Experience does.
They are a plenty in baseball, and oftentimes represent valuable measurement of a team's success or failure.
One of the sport's intangibles, however, is experience. That's something the South Carolina Gamecocks are far from short on.
The 2010 and 2011 College World Series champions face elimination tonight as they trail Arizona 1-0 in the best of three series, but like many times before this season, South Carolina can, and will, rely on veteran experience with its collective back against the wall.
21 of 34 Gamecock players have at College World Series experience under their belts.
What's more, South Carolina faced elimination seven days ago after it lost to SEC rival Arkansas—a result that broke a 22-game postseason winning streak.
The Razorbacks' efforts were to no avail, though, as the Gamecocks took the next two games, 2-0 and 3-2.
Even in the series deciding game on June 22, South Carolina went down 2-0 in the first three innings. But, the experienced S.C. team tied the game in the fifth and then notched the game winning run in the seventh.
Think back to 2010—the Gamecocks dropped its first game of the College World Series, a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma. It then rattled off six straight victories en route to a CWS title.
It's also been said that the Gamecock's lack of ability to score runs as of late—19 in six games in the CWS—will be their ultimate demise. Yet in 2011, S.C. tallied two more runs in one less game at the CWS and still ended up champions.
For South Carolina, it's been there done that.
It doesn't matter that Arizona has gone 17-2 since May 6, and it doesn't matter that the Wildcats are one of the best hitting teams in college baseball.
South Carolina has tasted triumph in Omaha before, but they've had to swallow bitter defeats in Omaha.
Arizona has not.
That is, not until tonight.
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