The South Carolina Gamecocks are on the verge of repeating as College World Series Champions. They are one game away from eliminating the Florida Gators from contention, after a thrilling extra innings 2-1 victory.
A couple of costly base-running errors and over throws all but handed South Carolina Game 1 of the best-of-three series. South Carolina was outplayed, but showcased their resiliency by rebounding for a spectacular victory.
South Carolina may not win tonight, but they are on their way to winning the College Baseball World Series, and here's why.
Gamecocks catcher Robert Beary made a handful of phenomenal game-saving plays at the plate. South Carolina was staring defeat in the face, but a few monster tags kept them alive.
They outlasted Florida mentally and were able to regain momentum even when they were outplayed. They owe that to their clutch defensive performance and Beary in particular.
South Carolina faced back-to-back bases loaded situations with the game on the line. The odds were stacked against them, but they were able to make two plays in the plate to stay alive.
They have gotten themselves out of a past jams with their bats, pitching and base running as well. It's that sort of resiliency that makes them so lethal in the College World Series. It's not something Florida seems to exude.
They've been here before. They are on the verge of repeating as champions. This isn't the exact same team as last year, but the identity has remained the same.
South Carolina can rely on their experience to pull through, even when it doesn't seem possible. It's very hard to win consecutive World Series, but it's easy to see how this group in particular is so close to doing so.
Senior lefty Michael Roth gets the start in Game 2. He was one of the key players in Omaha last year who helped the Gamecocks to victory. He's 13-3 with a 0.98 ERA.
Who better to stand on the mound than a left handed senior who has excelled on this stage in the past? Pitching is critical in Omaha. If the Gamecocks can manage to keep this one low scoring and close, they've proven time and time again that they have what it takes to finish.
As long as the Gamecocks don't lose back-to-back games, they walk away a winner again. They perform best when the pressure is on, which will make a Game 3 very hard for the Gators to win, should there be a need for Game 3.
They have a senior pitcher on the mound, to give them their best shot at closing this one out in two. Should they fall short, they have an opportunity to redeem themselves in Game 3. Winning tonight would be ideal, but it's not a necessity, as it is for Florida.
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