The South Carolina Gamecocks failed in their quest for the three-peat, but that doesn't mean that college baseball's latest dynasty is completely toppled.
The two-time defending champs were swept by the Arizona Wildcats in the College World Series, losing 4-1 on Monday. They received an excellent outing from ace Michael Roth, but the Gamecocks bullpen allowed three runs in the top of the ninth inning.
South Carolina had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, as they loaded the bases against freshman pitcher Mathew Troupe. But with the help of his defense, Troupe was able to hold on, and the Wildcats became the new kings of college baseball.
While the Gamecocks blew their opportunity at becoming the first team in 40 years to win three straight national titles, they can still continue their dominance of the sport next season.
Roth, the best pitcher in CWS history, will be gone. Ditto for outfielder Adam Matthews. Other than that, though, the entire Gamecocks roster should be returning.
That means they'll have their top six hitters (Christian Walker, Tanner English, Evan Marzilli, Joey Pankake, Chase Vergason and LB Dantzler) back in the lineup next season, as well as pitchers Colby Holmes, Matt Price and Jordan Montgomery.
South Carolina will have a talented and seasoned group next season, and with the heartbreak of this year's CWS loss, they should be even more motivated in 2013.
The Gamecocks may have lost Monday night, but they aren't going anywhere. They'll be just as dangerous next year, and the rest of the nation better not count them out.
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