Arizona may win the 2012 College World Series, but the explosive Wildcats offense is going to have a tough time breaking through against South Carolina ace Michael Roth in Game 2 on Monday.
The Wildcats have scored 84 runs in just nine postseason games in 2012, including five in their 5-1 victory over the Gamecocks on Sunday. South Carolina starter Forrest Koumas was pulled after giving up three runs (two earned) in 2 1/3 innings.
But in Roth the Wildcats face a far greater challenge.
Roth, a left-hander selected in the ninth round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels, has been spectacular for the Gamecocks ever since he arrived on campus.
In his collegiate career, he owns an 8-0 record in the playoffs with a 1.32 ERA in 88 1/3 innings.
In the CWS? Not much different. He's recorded a 4-0 record with a 1.34 ERA in 53 2/3 innings. He allowed a combined four runs in 15 1/3 innings against Florida and Kent State in this year's CWS.
Florida had scored a combined 31 runs in its previous three games before facing Roth.
You combine that with the fact that Roth has been the face of the Gamecocks' past two championships and Arizona has reason to worry heading into Monday's game.
South Carolina star first baseman Christian Walker said of Roth, via ESPN:
Mike is everything you could want in a player. He puts the team on his back and gives everything he can. We definitely feed off that and use it to our advantage.
The advantage will go to South Carolina in Game 2 on Monday, with Roth proving that spectacular pitching can beat an electric offense.
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