The South Carolina Gamecocks will continue their winning ways against Arizona in the College World Series Finals. They will take home their third-straight CWS title, and prove that they are the undisputed king of college baseball.
Only two teams in the history of the CWS have won three straight titles. The last team to do it was the USC Trojans, who actually won five straight championships between 1970 and 1974.
The Gamecocks are out to prove that they are the next great college baseball dynasty, and they will vault themselves into that category with another title in 2012.
Here are the reasons why South Carolina is destined to repeat.
Relief pitchers Tyler Webb and Matt Price held the Arkansas Razorbacks to seven scoreless innings in the last game to get into the CWS.
They are both capable of shutting down a lineup if their starters run into trouble, and their steady presence in the bullpen is like having State Farm at the beck and call of coach Ray Tanner.
Like a good neighbor...Webb and Price are there.
According to the the AP, Price's victory set a new CWS record. He now owns more wins (five) than any other pitcher in the history of the tournament—a lofty accomplishment that will only give him more confidence going forward.
No Holes in the Lineup
The Gamecocks don't feature a particularly powerful lineup. Only two hitters have more than 10 home runs—Christian Walker and LB Dantzler.
They don't rely on power to generate runs, rather all the batters in their lineup have the ability to get on base, move runners into scoring position and then drive them home. In this past season, they had seven hitters who drove in more than 20 runs, according to GamecocksOnline.com.
It's tough to beat a team that can beat you from every spot in the lineup.
Humility and Perspective
You might think a team that has won the last two CWS might have a superiority complex, but the Gamecocks aren't about to fall flat on their faces. Not if coach Tanner has anything to say about it.
He recently told reporters, via the AP:
It’s kind of hard to explain, because there are so many good baseball teams that we play throughout the year. Very rarely do we think that we’re so much better than the other team. Our guys have great perspective. They respect the game. They respect their opponents.
It's that same respect and humility that will keep the Gamecocks from looking ahead to the possibility of joining the three-in-a-row club. They will keep their noses to the grindstone and work hard until the final out is in the books.
South Carolina is ready to three-peat. They have the bats, the arms and the mindset to get the job done, and it won't be long before they are recognized as the best team in college baseball once again.