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Z3

college world series |

game 1 |

oklahoma 4, USC 3

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’s Jackie Bradley Jr. waits for the first pitch after a rain delay during Sunday’s game between South Carolina and Oklahoma at the 2010 College World Series inside Rosenblatt Stadium.

Loss makes road to championship series a bumpy one after bizarre opening game spans more than nine hours
BY RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
■ The start was delayed 4:15 by weather; the game was delayed by rain in the sixth inning for 2:01. ■ Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 17 with a single in the first inning. ■ Christian Walker’s second-inning home run was his second in as many at-bats. ■ The five-inning start was Blake Cooper’s shortest of the season.

S

OMAHA, Neb. OUTH CAROLINA BROKE one first-game jinx at the College World Series but could not overcome another in a bizarre opening game that spanned more than nine hours and a couple of rain delays. Bottom line: USC’s chances of winning the College World Series were reduced to slim following Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Oklahoma. Christian Walker took care of USC’s strange-buttrue inability to score in the opening game of the CWS when he blasted a towering home run to lead off the second inning. It marked the first run scored by the Gamecocks in a World Series opener since 1982, a span covering 46 innings. But, unfortunately, USC finds itself with one hand tied behind its back because it failed to win its opening game of the College World Series for the seventh consecutive appearance. Of course, winning the opening game is not necessary to capturing the national championship, but it makes for an easier path to the title. Fighting out of the losers’ bracket is taxing on a pitching staff, particularly one that is not deep in starters such as USC. USC will send Sam Dyson to the mound in Tuesday’s game against the loser of the game between Clemson and top-seeded Arizona State. After Dyson, USC has not established a No. 3 starting pitcher. It could be any one of a number of players, but none who has proved himself in that role. That’s never a good sign for any team that needs to win four games over the next six days just to reach

GAME 1 BOXSCORE

USC’s Jose Mata watches as Oklahoma’s Garrett Buechele rounds third after hitting a home run.
the best-of-three championship series. Since the College World Series went to the twobracket format in 1988, two teams have lost the opening game and come back to win the title: Southern California in 1998 and Oregon State in 2006. USC has attempted to do it the hard way in each of its previous six College World Series appearances. The Gamecocks lost the opener in 2002 and managed to reach the championship game, in which they lost to Texas. USC also lost the opener in 2004 and reached the bracket final before losing to Cal State-Fullerton. Interestingly, an openinground win sparked USC to the title game in its first two

USC ab Marzilli lf 3 Mfield rf/3b 4 Bradley cf 4 Moral 3b/2b 4 Walker 1b 3 Thomas dh 4 Enders c 2 Haney ss 3 Beary ph 1 Wingo 2b 2 Ebert ph 1 Matthews rf 1 Cooper p 0 Roth p 0 Taylor p 0 Neff p 0 Mata p 0 Webb p 0 Totals 32 South Carolina Oklahoma r 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 h 0 1 2 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9

CWS showings: The Gamecocks lost to Texas for the 1975 title and to Arizona State for the 1977 title. But that was not to be Sunday. The game’s start was delayed by rain for four hours and 15 minutes. Then it was halted in the middle of the sixth inning for two hours and one minute. Before the second delay, a couple of seasonlong bugaboos haunted USC as it fell behind 3-2. The Gamecocks have not been a great base-running team all season. The fastest player on the team, Adam Matthews, has five stolen bases on only seven attempts. The two next-fastest, Whit Merrifield and Jackie Bradley, led the team with 12 and seven stolen bases, respectively.

While Bradley did execute the hit-and-run perfectly to send Merrifield to third base in the first inning, Bradley negated the outstanding play with a base-running gaff. He was picked off first base with Adrian Morales at bat when a pitch skipped away from Oklahoma catcher Tyler Ogle, who retrieved the ball and fired to first. When Morales struck out to end the inning, USC saw a promising start aborted. In the second inning, Christian Walker led off with a towering home run, and Brady Thomas followed with a single to right field. But Thomas was wiped off the bases when Kyle Enders missed a hit-and-run sign and the slow-footed Thomas was easily thrown out at

second base. Additionally, USC’s home run power has been virtually restricted to games played at Carolina Stadium. Entering the College World Series, 69 of USC’s 80 home runs were hit in its home park. Walker connected in the second inning and Bradley drove a pitch deep over the right-field wall in the fourth inning. Had this game been played at Carolina Stadium, USC would have had four more runs on another three home runs in the early innings. It was a familiar ending for USC in the opening round of the College World Series, one that puts the Gamecocks behind the eight ball in their quest for a national championship.

Oklahoma bi ab r h bi 0 Ellison cf 3 1 1 0 0 White lf 3 0 0 0 2 Buechele 3b 4 1 1 1 0 Ogle c 4 0 1 1 1 Reine rf 4 1 2 0 0 Herren rf 0 0 0 0 0 Seitzer 1b 2 0 0 0 0 Black 2b 3 0 0 0 0 Byhead ss 3 1 2 2 0 Ross dh 2 0 0 0 0 Eisenberg ph 1 0 0 0 0 Rocha p 0 0 0 0 0 Erben p 0 0 0 0 0 Duke p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Totals 29 4 7 4 010 100 001 — 3 110 100 01x — 4

DP—Oklahoma 1. LOB—S. Carolina 10;Oklahoma 5. HR—Bradley(12); Walker(8); Buechele(17); Bushyhead(6). SB—Ellison(24). CS—Thomas(2). USC IP H R ER BB SO Cooper L, 12-2 5 6 3 3 1 5 Roth 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 Taylor ⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 1 Neff ⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 2 Mata ⁄3 1 1 1 0 0 2 Webb ⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 OKLAHOMA IP H R ER BB SO Rocha W,8-2 6 5 2 2 3 2 Erben 2 4 1 1 2 2 Duke S,12 1 0 0 0 2 1 HBP—by Roth (Seitzer). T—2:53. A—22,835.

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college world series |

game 2 |

USC 11, Arizona State 4

EIGHT IS GREAT

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’s Jackie Bradley Jr. rounds the bases after his home run in the second inning during Game 2 between the Gamecocks and Arizona State.

Eight-run outburst in second inning helps Gamecocks coast to victory in elimination game
By NEIL WHITE
nwhite@thestate.com

OMAHA, Neb. fter watching his team struggle to deliver a clutch hit in its College World Series opening loss, USC coach Ray Tanner was happier than anyone to see the snowman the Gamecocks hung on the Rosenblatt Stadium scoreboard in the second inning of Tuesday’s game. The eight-run outburst propelled USC to an 11-4 victory against Arizona State in an elimination game. “That second inning for us, eight runs, eight hits, is the most we’ve had in one inning the entire season,” Tanner said. “We don’t score runs like that very often. But we had some big, big at-bats in that inning, and it gave us an opportunity against a great club.” USC (49-16) advances to play the loser of Tuesday night’s Clemson-Oklahoma game at 7 p.m. Thursday. Arizona State (52-10), the No. 1 seed, ends its season with consecutive losses — the only time they lost two in a row this year. “Obviously, you can’t have a start like we did against a quality team of South Carolina,” Arizona State coach Tim Esmay said. “I thought they did a heck of a job of putting us on our heels, and I think you have to do that in a game like this where you lose and you go home.” USC outfielders Jackie Bradley and Whit Merrifield led the 14-hit attack with three hits and one homer apiece. Bradley, who drove in four runs, hit a three-run shot in the second to key the big inning. Merrifield added a pair of RBIs, including a solo homer in the eighth inning. The two are tied for the team lead with 13 homers each. “If your guys up there at the top are having that kind of offensive day, you’re going to have a chance to win the game, and that ended up being big for us,” Tanner said. Junior right-hander Sam Dyson took advantage of the

A

GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
■ USC improved to 8-0 on Tuesday. ■ It was USC’s 12th game with three or more home runs this season. ■ An eight-run second inning was the team’s second biggest of the year. ■ Jackie Bradley Jr. had four RBIs for the seventh time this season.

GAME 2 BOXSCORE Arizona State ab Maggi ss 5 MacPhee 2b 5 Calhoun rf 4 RiTorrez 1b 3 Ruetiger lf,cf 5 Marrero dh 4 Aplin cf 2 Nwmn ph,lf 1 RaTorrez 3b 3 Barnes c 4 Kelly p 0 Lambson p 0 Swagerty p 0 Totals 36 Arizona State South Carolina r h 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 411 USC bi ab r h bi 1 Marzilli lf 4 2 2 2 0 Merrifeld rf 5 2 3 2 0 Bradley cf 4 1 3 4 0 Walker 1b 4 0 0 1 0 Thomas dh 3 1 1 0 1 Matthews ph 2 0 0 0 0 Morales 3b 5 2 2 2 1 Enders c 4 1 1 0 0 Haney ss 4 0 1 0 1 Wingo 2b 3 2 1 2 0 Dyson p 0 0 0 0 0 Price p 0 0 0 0 0 4 Totals 38111411 000 020 020 — 4 082 000 01x — 11

The USC baseball team huddles for a prayer prior to Game 2.
support to hold the Sun Devils in check for 7 1⁄3 innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks. Matt Price pitched the final 1 2⁄3 innings. “Sam was good today,” Tanner said. “He might not have been really sharp with his slider and his curveball, but his fastball was pretty good, and he was getting his changeup in there. And when they did get some runners on, we made plays and stayed out of the big inning.” Tanner may have been most satisfied with the way his team bounced back from a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma on Sunday, when the Gamecocks left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings. That day was made more difficult by rain delays covering about six hours. “You get a new day, you bounce back, and you try to win the next one,” Tanner said. “That’s kind of what we did today. Certainly that eight-run inning propelled us to a good position, but these guys are mature. We have some young guys on the field, but there’s some maturity, and they respect the game. They know it’s difficult and it’s going to bite you sometimes. We had a hard time scoring the other night. But we got some runs today, and that kind of evens out in this game.” Adrian Morales and Kyle Enders led off the second inning with singles, and Scott Wingo delivered a two-run double into the left-field corner. Evan Marzilli followed with a single, then Whit Merrifield’s blooper over the first baseman’s head scored another run. Bradley then drilled a three-run homer to left-center that increased the lead to 6-0. “I was just actually looking to drive him in, get a sac fly somewhere,” Bradley said. “And he (ASU starter Merrill Kelly) made a great pitch. It was low and outside. I just happened to stay back on it, put a good swing on it.” Esmay was impressed with Bradley. “He’s aggressive. He attacks the baseball, and he’s one of the better players we’ve played against,” Esmay said. “He’s performing at a high level right now.” One out after Bradley’s homer, Brady Thomas restarted the rally with a single and scored on a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole by Morales to end the day of Kelly (10-3), who allowed eight runs on 10 hits. “It’s always big to give run support to our pitchers,” Morales said. “Coach Tanner tells us we’ll never win 3-2. We’re going to have to battle, and some games will be 9-8. And it was good to give us some run support early, and then Sam just rolled right
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through them.” Dyson (6-5), who picked up his first win since May 15 against Arkansas, said the big lead allowed him to be aggressive. “It’s a lot easier when you have eight runs on the board,” he said. “It’s a weight off your back.” The Gamecocks added two runs in the third on a basesloaded hit batsman and walk to boost the lead to 10-0. Arizona State mustered two runs in each of the fifth and eighth innings. “They tried to make it a big inning a number of times, and we were able to get some pitches or a play to stay out of it,” Tanner said. “Arizona State has a tremendous club, and I knew that you were going to have to get 27 hard outs. That’s what it ended up being.” But in the end, USC’s eight-run uprising proved to be the difference.

DP—Sourth Carolina 2. LOB—Arizona St. 10, South Carolina 7. 2B—Marrero(12), Haney(7), Wingo(8). HR—Merrifield(13), Bradley(13), Morales(9). SB—Maggi(36), MacPhee(20). Arizona State IP H R ER BB SO Kelly L,10-3 1 2⁄3 10 8 8 0 3 Lambson 4 1⁄3 2 2 2 2 4 Swagerty 2 2 1 1 0 2 South Carolina IP H R ER BB SO Dyson W, 6-5 7 1⁄3 8 4 4 2 3 Price 1 2⁄3 3 0 0 0 4 HBP—by Dyson (Ri. Torrez), by Lambson (Marzilli), by Lambson (Bradley), by Dyson (Ri.Torrez), by Price (Ra.Torrez). T—3:09. A—19,936.

THE STATE, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2010

Z5

college world series |

game 3 |

USC 3, Oklahoma 2 (12)

NEVER SAY DIE

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC players mob Brady Thomas after his game winning hit to beat the Sooners 3-2 in the 12th inning of Game 3 against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2010 College World Series.

Bradley and Thomas deliver clutch hits in the 12th inning to lead comeback and set up game against Clemson
By RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

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OMAHA, Neb. outh Carolina’s magical season reached another day late Thursday evening when this group of never-say-die Gamecocks once again would not die. Brady Thomas delivered the winning blow, a ground single to center field that scored Jackie Bradley from second base without a throw from the Oklahoma outfield. It capped a tworun, two-out rally that sent USC to a 3-2 victory. “It was an incredible win for us,” said USC coach Ray Tanner. “It was a never-give-up day.” Now comes the fun part . . . a game against Clemson tonight in the losers’ bracket final. If that story line sounds familiar, well, it should. Turn the calendar back to 2002 and tonight’s showdown is identical. Clemson was one win from reaching the College World Series championship game eight years ago, only to see USC pound the Tigers 12-4 and 10-2. Again this time, USC needs two wins to capture the bracket and play the best-of-three series for the national championship. As if the USC-Clemson rivalry needed any more fodder for bragging rights. Clemson won the regularseason series by blasting USC 19-6 in the early March deciding game at Carolina Stadium. That outcome and the season series will be long since forgotten if USC can repeat its 2002 rally against Clemson. Of course, that 2002 USC

GAME 3 HIGHLIGHTS
■ Blake Cooper allowed one run in 5 2⁄3 innings, the 10th time in 19 starts he allowed two runs or fewer. ■ USC’s bullpen improved to a 1.63 ERA in three CWS games with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings. ■ It earned USC its fourth 50-win season in school history and first since 2004.

GAME 3 BOXSCORE
Oklahoma ab Ellison cf 4 White lf 5 Buechele 3b 5 Ogle c 3 Reine rf 3 Seitzer 1b 4 Bshyhed ss 5 Black 2b 5 Herren dh 3 Eisenberg ph 1 Totals Oklahoma USC r 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 h 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 bi 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 USC ab r h bi Marzilli lf 6 1 2 0 Merrifield 3b 5 0 0 0 Bradley cf 6 1 1 1 Walker 1b 5 0 3 1 Matthews pr 0 0 0 0 Jones 1b 0 0 0 0 Thomas dh 6 0 1 1 Morales 2b 5 0 1 0 Enders c 2 0 0 0 Haney ss 5 0 1 0 Wingo 2b 1 0 0 0 Beary rf 3 1 1 0 38 2 5 2 Totals 44 310 3 010 000 000001 — 2 5 2 000 000 010002 — 3 10 1

USC’s Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrates his hit in the 12th inning to bring in the tying run.
team did not need the kind of dramatics provided by the Gamecocks on Thursday. Thomas did not wait until USC was down to its final strike to deliver his game-winning blow. He smacked the first pitch from Oklahoma reliever Ryan Duke through the box and Bradley cruised around third base and into the arms of on-rushing teammates at home plate. Bradley’s at-bat moments before set the stage and proved to be just as heroic. USC trailed 2-1

when he fouled a 2-1 fastball back to the screen behind home plate with two outs. Robert Beary stood on second base representing the tying run after he singled and stole second. Bradley and USC were down to its last strike and stared elimination square in the face. Bradley then watched a fastball inside for ball three. Then he grounded a single to right field and Beary raced in from second, scoring easily with an unnecessary slide. Then Jeffrey Jones

stepped to the plate and worked a walk without facing a second strike. Almost as quickly as Bradley touched second base and Jones stepped off first, Thomas roped one of the most glorious singles in USC history. It has to be the most dramatic game-winning hit for USC since the opening game of the 1977 College World Series when Chuck McLean raced around the bases with an inside-thepark home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Baylor, 3-2.

Afterward, Tanner talked about 12-year-old Charlie Peters of Omaha, a friend of the USC team since its 2003 appearance in the College World Series. Peters was a patient then at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, but now is recovered and has become USC’s biggest fan in Omaha. He carried a sign at Rosenblatt Stadium Thursday that read: “Never Give Up and Battle Hard.” USC took his sign to heart and has lived another day in Omaha.

E—Buechele (5); Ogle (3); Walker (9). DP—USC 2. LOB—Oklahoma 6, USC 12. 2B—Marzilli (7); Haneyt (8). HR—Ogle (11). SH—Ogle (5); Merrifield (4); Enders (6). SB—Bushyhead (13); Marzilli (6); Beary (3). CS—Ellison (4). Oklahoma IP H R ER BB SO Neal 7 5 1 1 1 7 Erben 4 2 0 0 1 1 2 Duke L,3-2 ⁄3 3 2 2 1 1 USC IP H R ER BB SO Cooper 5 2⁄3 4 1 1 2 6 Roth 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 Taylor 1 0 0 0 0 1 Price 3 0 0 0 0 5 Carter 0 1 1 1 0 0 Webb W,3-2 1 0 0 0 0 1 HBP—by Cooper (Ellison); by Neal (Wingo); by Price (Reine); by Webb (Reine). Umpires—Home, A.J. Lostaglio; First, Paul Gillie; Second, Kelly Gonzales; Third, David Savage. T—3:46. A—24,180. Neal faced 1 batter in the 8th.

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SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2010

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THE STATE, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

college world series |

game 4 |

USC 5, Clemson 1

ROTH TO THE RESCUE

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’s Michael Roth delivers a pitch in the 9th inning during Game 4 against the Clemson Tigers in the 2010 College World Series on Friday.

Lefthander likes hitting more than pitching, but he holds the Tigers to three hits in complete game
BY RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

GAME 4 HIGHLIGHTS
■ Michael Roth’s complete game was his first start since 2009. ■ Roth shut down Clemson’s left-handed batters, who were a combined 1-for-21. ■ Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hit streak was extended to 20 as he improved to .438 with nine RBIs in the series. ■ Brady Thomas had two hits and improved his CWS average to .353.

J

OMAHA, Neb. OIN THE CLUB, Michael Roth. In fact, let’s make you the president of South Carolina’s fast-growing hero-of-the-day elite. Roth stepped out of his role as a left-handed specialist in the bullpen to pitch the game of his life Friday night at Rosenblatt Stadium, one that extended USC’s life for another day at the College World Series. And this is not even what Roth likes to do. “I love hitting,” Roth said minutes after his completegame gem in USC’s 5-1 victory against Clemson. “Pitching’s not really my thing.” Roth allowed Clemson a double by Richie Shaffer that eventually led to Clemson’s only run in the third inning, a ground single to left by Spencer Kieboom in the eighth inning and a ground single to right by Brad Miller in the ninth. That was it. Three hits. One walk, four strikeouts. His performance immediately inducted Roth into the annals of Gamecocks history and, at the same time, pushed him into a group of USC’s NCAA tournament heroes this season that includes Blake Cooper, Jackie Bradley, Adrian Morales, Jose Mata, Matt Price, Christian Walker, Sam Dyson and Brady Thomas. This from a kid who was recruited to USC out of Riverside High in Greer as a hitter. Not until he threw four scoreless innings of relief in a 9-5 loss at Florida in 2009 did Roth become a full-time pitcher. Heck, not until USC burned Cooper in its win against Oklahoma on Thursday was Roth even a consideration as a starter on Friday. Then pitching coach Mark Calvi made his case for Roth

GAME 4 BOXSCORE
USC Marzilli lf Merrifeld rf Bradley cf Walker 1b Thomas dh Morales 3b Enders c Haney ss Wingo 2b Roth p ab 2 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 0 r 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 h 1 0 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 bi 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 Clemson Epps dh Nester ph Freeman 2b Schaus lf Parker rf Miller ss Hinson 3b Shaffer 1b Boyd cf Kieboom c Pohl c Leone p Haselden p Cruz p 32 5 8 5 Totals 111 001 101 000 ab 2 2 4 4 2 4 4 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 30 r 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 h 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 bi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

USC head coach Ray Tanner and Clemson coach Jack Leggett shake hands after game.

in a meeting late Thursday with coach Ray Tanner. “Coach Calvi was convinced,” Tanner said. “He was his first choice after yesterday. He said, ‘I feel good about what he can give us.’ and the reasons why, and I agreed with him.” Then, as Roth stepped off the elevator Friday afternoon at the Embassy Suites in downtown Omaha, Tanner greeted him. “What can you give us?” Roth recalled Tanner asking. “I’ll throw until my arm falls off,” Roth replied. “What is that, about one inning?” “We’ll see.” We saw, indeed. Roth said he could remem-

ber throwing complete games in high school, but those were seven-inning games. He can never recall throwing nine innings. Yet the left-hander was magnificent. He never overpowered Clemson’s bats, but he was effective enough to get 16 groundball outs. “He was throwing a lot of strikes with fastballs, changeups and sliders away,” catcher Kyle Enders said. “He did a good job of keeping them off balance all night. He didn’t really struggle all night. He’s not used to throwing that many pitches, so he might have gotten a little tired. But he stuck in there and hung in there for

us.” Inning by inning, Roth went about a ritual on the mound before he threw his first pitch. He stood off the rubber, held his cap to his side, bowed his head and talked to himself. The only time Roth appeared to be tiring was in the fifth inning when his pitches began to sail outside. But after a quick trip to the mound by Calvi, Roth quickly retired Spencer Kieboom on a fly ball to end the inning and sat down the next seven Clemson batters. When he struck out John Hinson to end the game, Roth was mobbed by his teammates near the mound. Then he conducted national
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TV and radio interviews before heading to the media room to face reporters. In looking over the final boxscore from the game, he raised his eyebrows — but not in admiration of his night’s work. Rather, Roth wanted to know what “BF” meant on the statistics sheet. Why would a near-4.0 student majoring in business know anything about “batters faced.” This guy wants to be a hitter. When asked on the field afterward if Friday’s showing assures him of being a pitcher at USC, Roth laughed. “I hope not,” he said. “I don’t want to be. That was fun, but it’s not where I want to be. I want to hit.”

Totals USC Clemson

000 — 5 000 — 1

E—Wingo(9) DP—S. Carolina 1, Clemson 2. LOB—S. Carolina 4, Clemson 5. 2B—Marzilli (8), Bradley (12), Thomas (13), Shaffer (11). HR—Enders(3). Houston IP H R ER BB SO Roth W, 2-1 9 3 1 1 1 4 Clemson IP H R ER BB SO 2 Leone L, 3-2 2 ⁄3 4 3 3 1 0 Haselden 31⁄3 4 2 2 1 0 Cruz 3 0 0 0 2 3 HBP—by Roth (Parker), by Roth (Shaffer). PB—Enders (10). T—2:22. A—22,334.

Maybe Tanner can call on Roth to hit tonight against Clemson, and do not be surprised if his hitting prowess makes him USC’s hero of the day, again.

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SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2010

Z7

college world series |

game 5 |

USC 4, Clemson 3

USC ENTERS RARE AIR

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’s Christian Walker follows through on his home run in the 4th inning as the Gamecocks take on the Clemson Tigers in Game 5.

Strong pitching from Dyson and Price helps USC earn berth in championship series against UCLA
BY RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

GAME 5 HIGHLIGHTS
■ USC won its second one-run game of the tournament ■ The bullpen improved to 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA without a walk in 13 1⁄3 innings. ■ USC’s pitchers have a 2.68 ERA going into the championship series with 40 strikeouts and eight walks. ■ Whit Merrifield was a home run short of the cycle.

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OMAHA, Neb o sweeter words have ever carried from Omaha to Columbia than these: South Carolina will play for college baseball’s national championship this week at the College World Series. When Christian Walker stepped on first base at 9:13 p.m. at Rosenblatt Stadium for the final out of USC’s 4-3 victory against Clemson, the Gamecocks were headed to rarified air. “It feels great,” USC catcher Kyle Enders said. “To be standing here in Omaha and knowing we’re going to be playing for the national championship on Monday, it hasn’t really set in. I can’t really believe it yet. But we did it.” USC faces a tall task in the best-of-three series for the title on Monday against UCLA. No taller, though, than what it stared at after losing in the opening round Sunday before battling back to win four games. The final two victories came against Clemson in a repeat of 2002 — when USC fought out of the losers’ bracket to defeat the Tigers twice before losing the national title game to Texas. This will be USC’s fourth crack at a national title in baseball. Besides the 2002 loss, USC fell to Texas for the title in 1975 and to Arizona State in 1977. It is difficult to imagine any of those USC teams having as many contributors as this Gamecocks club. For most of the postseason — through the regional, the Super Regional and into the CWS — USC has been passing the baton from game to game, from one hero to another. On Saturday, USC decided to team up against a pesky Clemson team that made it interesting until the final out.

GAME 5 BOXSCORE
CLEMSON USC r 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 h 1 2 1 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 bi 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Marzilli lf Merrifild rf Bradley cf Walker 1b Morales 3b Matthews dh Thomas ph Enders c Haney ss Wingo 2b Dyson p Price p ab 3 5 2 4 4 3 0 4 4 3 0 0 r 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 h 1 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 bi 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ab Lamb dh 4 Freeman 2b 5 Schaus lf 5 Parker lf 3 Hinson 3b 3 Miller ss 4 Shaffer 1b 4 Boyd cf 4 Kieboom c 2 Epps ph 0 Nester c 1 Harman p 0 Frederick p 0 Weismann p 0 Brady p 0 Totals 35

Clemson coach Jack Leggett wipes his brow during the 8th inning.
The Gamecocks received significant contributions from pitchers Sam Dyson and Matt Price and clutch hitting from Christian Walker and Adrian Morales. Let’s start with the pitching, since that has carried USC all season and particularly in Omaha. Coach Ray Tanner and his pitching coach, Mark Calvi, called on right-hander Sam Dyson to pitch despite Dyson having thrown 119 pitches four days ago in a victory against Arizona State. This time, Dyson gutted his way through 112 pitches, limiting Clemson to two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five in 62⁄3 innings. Then Tanner turned the game over to Price, who was coming back from one day’s rest after a yeoman, three●

inning performance in USC’s 12-inning victory against Oklahoma. Price allowed a run in his 21⁄3-inning stint but was as sharp as ever in striking out three Clemson batters. “I was impressed with what Sam and Matt did,” Tanner said. “Even if we had been less fortunate to win tonight, what great performances and competitive efforts. It doesn’t get any better than that.” While Dyson and Price held Clemson in check, USC waited for its bats to produce. Walker was the first to step to the fore, leading off the fourth inning. He blasted a 2-2 changeup from Clemson pitcher Casey Harman deep into the left-field bleachers. Then, with the game tied at 2 in the seventh inning

and runners on first and third, Walker drilled a single into center. Before Walker came to bat, Clemson intentionally walked Jackie Bradley. “I knew they were walking Jackie to get to me,” Walker said. “I felt like I had something to prove there.” He did just that, and before he could get settled at first, Morales smacked the next pitch from Alex Frederick on the ground into right. Bradley, who had moved around to third on Walker’s single, walked home with USC’s fourth and decisive run. When Price took care of matters in the eighth and ninth, USC celebrated around the pitcher’s mound. But this celebration was much like the one shortly after the Gamecocks won the

Columbia Regional. The win was nice to savor for the moment and there were back slaps and smiles all around. But this is not the kind of team that is satisfied with winning a regional or a Super Regional, playing in the College World Series or even advancing to the national championship series. This team has a fight to it. It battles from behind. It scraps for runs. It hangs around. It wins. “This is the kind of team we are. We’re a resilient team,” outfielder Whit Merrifield said. “We’re a team that doesn’t like to lose a lot. We’ve done things the hard way all year.” So, maybe it is perfectly OK that the championship series against UCLA seems like a tall order for a USC team seeking a national title.

Totals

32 4 9 3

HBP—by Dyson (Lamb), by Dyson (Parker), by Harman (Bradley), by Harman (Marzilli). PB—Enders (11). T—3:04. A—12,593. Clemson 001 000 110 — 3 USC 100 100 20x — 4 E—Miller (32), Kieboom (1), Nester,(7), Wingo (10). DP—Clemson 2. LOB—CLemaon 9, South Carolina 10. 2B—Merrifield (12). 3B—Hinson (1), Marrifield (1). HR—Walker (9). SB—Marzilli (8), Matthews (6). Clemson IP H R ER BB SO Harman L, 8-4 61⁄3 7 3 3 0 5 2 Frederick ⁄3 2 1 1 2 1 1 Weismann ⁄3 0 0 0 2 0 2 Brady ⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 USC IP H R ER BB SO 2 Dyson 6 ⁄3 5 2 2 2 5 Price W, 4-1 21⁄3 3 1 1 0 3 HBP—by Dyson (Lamb), by Dyson (Parker), by Harman (Bradley), by Harman (Marzilli). PB—Enders (11). T—3:04. A—12,593.

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college world series |

game 6 |

USC 7, UCLA 1

SUPER COOPER

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’s Blake Cooper delivers a pitch against UCLA during Game 1 of the 2010 College World Series finals at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.

Rigorous offseason training program keeps Cooper in top form and has USC on the verge of a title
BY RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

GAME 6 HIGHLIGHTS
■ Blake Cooper allowed 2 runs over 8 innings with 10 strikeouts, tying a CWS finals record ■ Jackie Bradley Jr. took the RBI lead in the tournament with nine, improving his batting average to .417 and extending his hit streak to 22. ■ Christian Walker improved to .396 with two hits and a run.

B

OMAHA, Neb. LAKE COOPER threw the game of his life on college baseball’s biggest stage Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium, gutting out an eight-inning performance that had UCLA hitters off-balance all the way to the last of his 136 pitches. “What can you say abut that guy?” pitching coach Mark Calvi said after USC’s 7-1 victory. “He was phenomenal.” Calvi met with Cooper late Sunday evening to determine if his ace pitcher could come back for a second time on three days rest in this College World Series. Cooper never hesitated. He was ready. Then Ray Tanner sat with Cooper on Monday morning. “I certainly wanted to pitch him today,” Tanner said. “But I encouraged him to take another day, if he felt that it would be in his best interests.” Cooper looked at Tanner for a few minutes before he responded. “I’ll be as good today as I’ll be tomorrow,” he said. Even after Cooper held UCLA hitless through the first three innings, the coaching staff was concerned that their bulldog might have lost his bite. His fastball, which normally tops out anywhere from 89 to 92 mph, did not have its usual “giddy-up,” in Tanner’s words. It was floating to the plate in the mid-80s. So, assistant coaches Chad Holbrook and Sammy Esposito decided it was their turn to check in with Cooper as he sat by himself, arm wrapped in a towel, in the USC dugout in the middle of the third inning. “I’m not coming out,” Cooper barked at the coaches. That has been Cooper’s rallying cry since his first start of the season. He was restricted to five innings that night against Duquesne.

GAME 6 BOXSCORE
USC ab Marzilli lf 4 Merrifild rf 5 Bradley cf 5 Walker 1b 5 Thomas dh 3 Matthews ph 1 Morales 3b 5 Enders c 5 Haney ss 3 Wingo 2b 4 Cooper p 0 Taylor p 0 Totals USC UCLA r 0 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 h 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 bi 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 UCLA Amaral cf Gallego ss Regis 2b Dunlap dh Navarro ph Gelalich lf Espy 3b Brown ph Uribe 1b Giovinazo rf Rodriguez c Cole p Grace p Griggs p 40 714 6 Totals 212 000 010 000 ab 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31 r 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 h 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 bi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

USC’s Scott Wingo dives into third base with a triple against UCLA in Game 1 of the championship series.
Since then, he has not come out of a game earlier than the sixth inning. Cooper credits his stamina to a rigorous offseason training program. He had ballooned to 210 pounds, and when you measure 5-foot-10 (in heeled shoes), you are downright plump. “At the end of last year, he made up his mind he was going to get himself in really good shape,” said Billy Anderson, USC’s strength and conditioning coach. “Coop really wanted to drop weight. He felt like his weight was a hindrance.” Anderson immediately changed Cooper’s diet, eliminating fried foods and substituting fish and chicken for red meat. Soft drinks and sweet iced tea were off the table. Then Cooper went about proving to Anderson and the coaching staff that he would be the best conditioned pitcher, and maybe, player on the team. In addition to his weighttraining sessions, every day Cooper ran the stairs at Carolina Stadium with a 20-pound vest. The pounds began to drop off his body. Before he knew it, Cooper had shed 30 pounds. He was not a svelte 180 pounds and he was no Adonis, according to Anderson. But he had won the team’s weight-room award before the season began. “I’m not taking a vote,” Anderson said of the recognition that comes after the season. “Coop wins it.” His weight in check, Cooper attacked opponents with four pitches this season. So, when his fastball was nowhere to be found Monday, he went to his sweeping curveball, his slider that runs in on left-handed hitters and his changeup that looked like a pelican swooping in on a fish in water as it reached home plate. “He located his off-speed stuff,” Calvi said. “He has some different ways to beat you.” That is what Cooper is all about on a pitcher’s mound. He finds a way to beat you. Over the course of this season, he has found a way to beat some of the nation’s best pitchers. Monday, it was UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole who flashed the golden arm against Cooper. Cole was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft two years ago out of high school. The New York Yankees never negotiated
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with Cole, but he was certain to receive in excess of $2 million for signing instead of attending college. Cole, like all the others this season, was no match for Cooper, who was a 12th-round selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks. USC took Cole deep into counts and generally worked him over to the tune of six runs. Meanwhile, Cooper merrily rolled along all the way through the eighth inning with a one-hitter. He should not have gone out for the ninth inning, but Calvi said his pitcher had deserved that honor in his final appearance as a college pitcher. Dead tired, Cooper gave up a couple of hits and walked a batter. Finally, he departed to cheers not only from the USC faithful but the Ro-

010 001

— 7 — 1

E—Wingo 2 (12), Regis (12), Cole (1). DP—South Carolina 1. LOB—South Carolina 9, UCLA 6. 3B—Wingo (3). SB—Matthews (7), Morales (5), Wingo (2), Gelalich (7). SF—Haney (3). USC IP H R ER BB SO Cooper W, 13-2 8 3 1 1 1 10 Taylor 2 0 0 0 0 0 UCLA IP H R ER BB SO Cole L, 11-4 7 11 6 4 1 2 11 Grace ⁄3 3 1 1 1 0 02 Griggs ⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 HBP—by Cooper (Rodriguez), by Cooper (Gelalich). T—3:28. A—23,181.

senblatt Stadium fans who were most appreciative of a sensational performance. Cooper’s final pitch was his 300th in the College World Series. His remarkable effort has USC one win from winning the national championship.

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game 7 |

USC 2, UCLA 1 (11)

NATIONAL CHAMPS

GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC’a Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrates with teammates after their win over UCLA during Game 2 of the 2010 College World Series finals.

Tanner: ‘Sometimes, dreams do become reality’
BY RON MORRIS
rmorris@thestate.com

OMAHA, Neb. WO HUNDRED and ninety teams began the college baseball season dreaming of a national championship. Now one stands alone atop the heap as winners of the final College World Series ever played at Rosenblatt Stadium. Read these words carefully, and let them sink in because they have never before been spoken in a major sport: The University of South Carolina is the national champion. “You try to be one of the best one day,” said USC coach Ray Tanner as he sported a national champions T-shirt and stood near home plate moments after his team’s dramatic, 2-1, 11-inning victory against UCLA. “Many times, it’s just a dream, but sometimes it becomes reality.” The reality is that this national crown was won not just for a coaching staff led by Tanner, who took over a foundering program 14 years ago and guided it Tuesday night to unprecedented heights. “It’s really indescribable,” Tanner said. “I’ve never really been in this position, so I don’t know how to act. I’m so happy for this great university, its players and coaches and the fans who came out here with us.” This is a championship won not just for the 35 players, who from

T

seldom-used Parker Bangs to steady second baseman Scott Wingo, never wavered in their belief that a national championship could be realized. “Being our first national championship, this is definitely where our university is headed,” said Wingo, who raced home from third base with the winning run on Whit Merrifield’s single. “We’re headed in the right direction.” It is a championship won for an entire athletics program, one that for most of its existence virtually has been void of success on the national level. “Maybe we can bury the chicken curse,” said Eric Hyman, USC’s athletics director. “I’m so happy for the Gamecock nation. I’m so happy for our fans. This shows we can do it.” Finally, it is a championship won for the state of South Carolina, which so desperately longs to have its name atop a national list for something good. “I’m so happy for the great state of South Carolina,” Tanner said. So, as you drink your cup of coffee this morning, it is quite OK to puff your chest and carry your head high. Raise that cup in toast to a team that made its athletics department, its city and its state proud. “This game tonight is the epitome of what this team is all about,” Tanner said. In typical fashion, USC got sterling pitching from starter Michael Roth and a quartet of

relievers, most notably Matt Price. The pitching staff has kept USC in games throughout the postseason, often waiting around until the offense could kick into gear. On this night, USC waited UCLA out until the 11th inning, when Wingo led off with a walk, advanced to second base on a passed ball, then to third base on Evan Marzilli’s sacrifice bunt. Merrifield then came to the plate and watched consecutive fastballs from UCLA reliever Dan Klein that sailed high and away for balls. Merrifield lined the next pitch into right field and Wingo nearly scored the winning run before the ball fell on the Rosenblatt grass. “I got into a hitter’s count and he threw me a strike,” Merrifield said. “I found a hole, and it was just elation. I can’t even describe it.” The big playmakers in Tuesday’s win will be remembered — no doubt, forever — as the ones who led USC in the series-clinching game. But they were only the latest heroes and latest contributors in a journey that began innocently enough with the start of the NCAA tournament on June 4. A two-run homer by Jackie Bradley and a three-run bomb by Adrian Morales got USC going in a come-from-behind win against Bucknell. Then Blake Cooper outdueled first-round pick Asher Wojciechowski of The Citadel and Jose Mata’s bullpen work led USC past Virginia Tech to clinch the

regional title. The Super Regional games belonged to Price, who worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the opener, and Christian Walker, whose three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning sent USC to Omaha. In Omaha, USC stubbed its toe out of the gate with a loss to Oklahoma. Then it got an outstanding performance from right-handed pitcher Sam Dyson to defeat Arizona State; a ninth inning, twoout single by Bradley, who was down to his and USC’s last strike, to turn away Oklahoma; a brilliant three-hitter from Roth, making his first start of the season, to beat Clemson; and yet another strong showing by Dyson to defeat Clemson and advance to the championship round. Once there, USC seized the opportunity like it never has in a major sport. Cooper was at his career-best in spinning a threehitter over eight innings to defeat UCLA in the opener. Then Merrifield etched his name into the annals of USC athletics history with his game-winning single. The traditional dogpile occurred near second base, then players paraded the national championship trophy around the stadium. Finally, the team gathered near home plate for the official presentation to USC of its first national championship in a major sport. It is a championship won for USC, the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina.

GAME 7 HIGHLIGHTS
■ USC won its second NCAA team title, joining the women’s outdoor track and field team in 2002. ■ USC is the first team to win the title after losing its first game since 2006.
GAME 7 BOXSCORE
UCLA Gallego ss Amaral cf Dunlap dh Espy 1b Williams 2b Regis 2b,3b Krill rf Giovinazo lf Brn 3b,1b Rodriguez c Goeddel p Klein p ab 5 5 4 3 1 5 5 3 4 2 0 0 r 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 h 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 bi 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 USC Marzilli lf Merrifeld rf Bradley cf Walker 1b Morales 3b Mattws dh Thomas ph Beary pr,dh Enders c Haney ss Wingo 2b Roth p Mata p Webb p Taylor p Price p 37 1 8 1 Totals 000 010 000 000 ab r h bi 5 0 2 0 5 0 1 1 5 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 5 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 39 2 9 1 00000 — 1 01001 — 2

Totals UCLA USC

E—Espy (6), Morales (12). DP—South Carolina 1. LOB—UCLA 10, South Carolina 14. 2B—Amaral (12), Krill (14). CS—Gallego(2). S— Giovinazzo (2), Rodriguez (10), Marzilli (2), Merrifield (15). UCLA IP H R ER BB SO Rasmussen 6 6 0 0 4 5 Goeddel 1 2 1 0 0 1 Klein L, 6-1 31⁄3 1 1 1 2 4 USC IP H R ER BB SO Roth 5 6 1 1 2 3 Mata 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 Webb ⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 Taylor 1 0 0 0 0 0 Price W, 5-1 22⁄3 1 0 0 1 3 Goeddel pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. HBP—by Mata (Brown),by Price (Dunlap). WP—Rodriguez (7). T—4:15. A—24,390.

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OMAHA TURNS GARNET

PHOTGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ/GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

USC fans, with help from Cocky, cheer during Game 1 of the 2010 College World Series finals Monday against UCLA.

USC fan Kevin Douglas shows off his Gamecock attire during the Gamecocks game against the Clemson Tigers.

Vince Vannelle, of Cincinnati, shows off his favorite team colors during a rain delay prior to the first game between South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Upper right, USC fan Dan Weatherford can't contain his disappointment after a second weather delay in the first game between South Carolina and Oklahoma.

At right, nine-year-old Drew Quedensley, right, shows off his haircut to USC's Nick Ebert during an autograph session in Omaha.

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the winning hit
USC’s Whit Merrifield celebrates the game-winning hit against UCLA. He drove in Scott Wingo from third base to give the Gamecocks the national title.

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USC runs onto the field after Scott Wingo scores the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning on Monday. Lambert Bartak, 91, plays the organ in the press box overlooking Rosenblatt Stadium during the College World Series. Lower right, ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews speaks with USC players during the game against the Clemson Tigers. Lower, left, USC's lucky bat is rubbed on Nick Ebert during the 8th inning of Game 1 of the series finals.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY MELENDEZ GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM

JEFF BEIERMANN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Last College World Series game at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday.

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college world series

NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
USC baseball coach Ray Tanner has earned National Coach of the Year honors from Collegiate Baseball. Tanner completed his 14th year as head coach at USC leading the Gamecocks to a national championship and a 54-16 record. On the way to the title at the College World Series, the Gamecocks became the first team to win six consecutive games in Omaha. The title was the first men’s national championship at USC. This past season’s trip was the fourth to the College World Series for coach Tanner along with three consecutive trips from 2002-2004.

TANNER BIO
Born: March 25, 1958, in Smithfield, N.C. Family: He is married to the former Karen Donald, a native of Charleston and a USC graduate. She was formerly head women’s athletic trainer at NC State. She is the former director of athletics and director of sports medicine at Columbia College. They have two daughters, Bridgette Grace ("Gracie") and Margaret Pearl ("Maggie") and one son, Joseph Luke ("Luke"). Education: Tanner has a Bachelor of Science degree in recreational administration from NC State (1980) and Master’s of public affairs,

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USC head coach Ray Tanner jokes with his coaching staff prior to Game 2 of the 2010 College World Series finals between South Carolina and UCLA at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.

public administration (1983). At USC: Tanner was named the South Carolina head coach June 14, 1996 after nine successful seasons at North Carolina State. Under Tanner, USC owns the longest current streak of NCAA Regional appearances among the 12 SEC schools with 11 straight trips to the tourna-

ment dating back to the 2000 season. In that span, Carolina has eight NCAA Super Regional appearances (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010). USC is one of only six schools in the nation to make at least eight NCAA Super Regionals in the last 11 years and one of only eight schools

in the country to have reached the NCAA Regionals every season from 2000 to the present. The program’s 11-year total record of 522-217 is the fourth highest win total among NCAA Division I schools. South Carolina has 11 consecutive seasons of 40 or more wins. The Gamecocks have also

collected championships in the Southeastern Conference with regular season titles in 2000 and 2002 along with a SEC Tournament crown in 2004. Tanner’s last 11 teams have featured 20 All-America performers including senior right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper. This past season was Tan-

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS!

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2010 USC GAMECOCKS
ADRIAN MORALES
No.: 3 Position: Third base Year: Junior Hometown: Hialeah, Fla High school/Juco: Miami-Dade CC Key stats: Second on team with 56 RBIs; had 15 doubles

ANTHONY IACOMINI
No.: 10 Position: Infielder Year: Freshman Hometown: Cross River, N.Y. High school/Juco: John Jay Cross River HS Key stats: Redshirted

COACHING STAFF
HEAD COACH: Ray Tanner (14th season) (N.C. State, 1980) ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH: Chad Holbrook (2nd season) (North Carolina, 1994) ASSISTANT COACH: Mark Calvi (6th season) (Nova Southeastern, 1991) ASSISTANT COACH: Sammy Esposito (3rd season) (N.C. State, 2005) STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH: Billy Anderson ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC TRAINER: Brainard Cooper DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: Kyle Lipsey STUDENT MANAGERS: Ryan Fischer, Rob Kish GRADUATE ASSISTANT ATHLETIC TRAINER: Stephanie Bingham STUDENT ATHLETIC TRAINERS: Amanda Hawkins, Dillon Smith, Tim Vigue

Position: Outfield Year: Sophomore Hometown: Lexington High school/Juco: White Knoll HS Key stats: Led team with 12 steals in 18 attempts

BRADY THOMAS
No.: 36 Position: Catcher/DH Year: Senior Hometown: Anderson High school/Juco: FSU Key stats: Hit .331 in 139 at-bats.

BLAKE COOPER
No.: 27 Position: Pitcher Year: Senior Hometown: Neeses High school/Juco: Edisto HS Key stats: Led team in victories (13), innings pitched (137) and strikeouts (126).

JAY BROWN
No.: 37 Position: Pitcher Year: Senior Hometown: Brunswick, Ga. High school/Juco: Young Harris JC Key stats: 3-0 record in nine starts and eight relief appearances

ROERT BEARY
No.: 4 Position: Outfield/catcher Year: Junior Hometown: Apopka, Fla. High school/Juco: Pensacola JC Key stats: 27 hits in 98 at-bats

JIMMY REVAN
No.: 12 Position: Pitcher Year: Sophomore Hometown: Chester High school/Juco: Spartanburg Methodist JC Key stats: 1-0 in nine appearances

MICHAEL ROTH
No.: 29 Position: Pitcher Year: Sophomore Hometown: Greer High school/Juco: Riverside Key stats: Had a team-low ERA of 1.34 in 37 appearances (only had 2 starts -- both in CWS)

WHIT MERRIFIELD
No.: 5 Position: Right field Year: Junior Hometown: Advance, N.C. High school/Juco: Davie County HS Key stats: Led the team in hits (95), runs (72) and at-bats (296)

TYLER WEBB
No.: 39 Position: Pitcher Year: Freshman Hometown: Nassawadox, Va High school/Juco: Northampton HS Key stats: 3-2 record with seven starts and 10 appearances out of the bullpen

CHRISTIAN WALKER
No.: 13 Position: First base Year: Freshman Hometown: Limerick, Pa. High school/Juco: Kennedy-Kenrick HS Key stats: Good production with 74 hits, 51 RBIs

JEFFERY JONES
No.: 6 Position: First base Year: Senior Hometown: Ft. Worth, Texas High school/Juco: Navarro JC Key stats: Batted .300 and had 29 RBIs

JOHN TAYLOR
No.: 14 Position: Pitcher Year: Junior Hometown: Florence High school/Juco: Darlington Tech Key stats: Reliever was 3-2 with 1 save in 28 appearances

Key stats: Reliever was 7-1 in 33 appearances (45 innings pitched)

KYLE ENDERS
No.: 18 Position: Catcher Year: Senior Hometown: Greer High school/Juco: Riverside HS Key stats: 9 doubles, 1 triple and 3 HRs (including 2 in postseason)

Year: Freshman Hometown: Hilton Head High school/Juco: Hilton Head HS Key stats: DNP

EVAN MARZILLI
No.: 31 Position: Outfield Year: Freshman Hometown: Cranston, R.I. High school/Juco: Bishop Hendricken HS Key stats: Led team with a .385 batting average; scored 30 runs on 35 hits

PATRICK SULLIVAN
No.: 39 Position: Pitcher Year: RS Freshman Hometown: Columbia High school/Juco: A.C. Flora HS Key stats: 1.50 ERA in seven appearances in relief

MATT PRICE
No.: 22 Position: Pitcher Year: RS Freshman Hometown: Sumter High school/Juco: Sumter HS Key stats: Led team with 10 saves; had a 4-1 record and 2.26 ERA

RICHARD ROYAL
No.: 7 Position: Catcher Year: Sophomore Hometown: Fayettevile, N.C. High school/Juco: Terry Sanford HS Key stats: Hit .333 in limited at-bats

ETHAN CARTER
No.: 32 Position: Pitcher Year: Freshman Hometown: Newport News, Va. High school/Juco: Menchville HS Key stats: 3-0 record and two saves in 24 appearances

PARKER BANGS
No.: 42 Position: Pitcher/Utility Year: Junior Hometown: Laurinburg, N.C. High school/Juco: Scotland HS Key stats: 1-0 in 14 appearances out of bullpen

NOLAN BELCHER
No.: 15 Position: Pitcher Year: Sophomore Hometown: Augusta, Ga. High school/Juco: Greenbrier HS Key stats: 3-1 record; six starts, five relief appearances

JACKIE BRADLEY JR.
No.: 19 Position: Center field Year: Sophomore Hometown: Prince George, Va High school/Juco: Prince George HS Key stats: Led Gamecocks in RBIs (60) and tied for lead with 13 HR

BOBBY HANEY
No.: 23 Position: Shortstop Year: Senior Hometown: Smithtown, N.Y. High school/Juco: Manatee CC (Fla.) Key stats: In 251 chances, had only 6 errors

SCOTT WINGO
No.: 8 Position: Second base Year: Junior Hometown: Greenville High school/Juco: Mauldin HS Key stats: Hit by picthes a team-high 18 times

ALEX BURRELL
No.: 33 Position: Pitcher Year: Sophomore Hometown: Landrum High school/Juco: Landrum HS Key stats: Had two relief appearances

COLBY HOLMES
No.: 44 Position: Pitcher Year: Freshman Hometown: Conway High school/Juco: Conway HS Key stats: 2-0 record with six starts and five games out of the bullpen

AUSTIN ASHMORE
No.: 16 Position: Outfielder Year: Freshman Hometown: Greer High school/Juco: Greer HS Key stats: Injured

SAM DYSON
No.: 20 Position: Pitcher Year: Junior Hometown: Tampa, Fla. High school/Juco: Tampa Jesuit HS Key stats: In 18 starts, finished 6-5 with 103 innings pitched

BRISON CELEK
No.: 24 Position: Catcher/First Base Year: Freshman Hometown: Charleston High school/Juco: Bishop England HS Key stats: DNP

STEVEN NEFF
No.: 9 Position: Pitcher/Outfielder Year: Sophomore Hometown: Lancaster High school/Juco: Lancaster HS Key stats: 1 start, 16 appearances from bullpen; 2-1 record

JORDAN PROPST
No.: 34 Position: Pitcher Year: Senior Hometown: Gaffney High school/Juco: Gaffney HS Key stats: Two relief appearances

NICK EBERT
No.: 47 Position: First base Year: Senior Hometown: Ocala, Fla High school/Juco: Central Florida CC Key stats: .272 BA, 7 HR, 31 RBI

JOSE MATA
No.: 17 Position: Pitcher Year: Junior Hometown: Miami Lakes, Fla. High school/Juco: Broward CC

GREG HARRISON
No.: 21 Position: Pitcher

ADAM MATTHEWS
No.: 26

1 REAL ESTATE The #

ompany in the C

idlands M
ongratulates C
#1 COLLEGE The

BASEBALL

EAM in the T

ATION! N

cocks! Game
RussellandJeffcoat.com

ay to go W

WWW.THESTATE.COM

THE STATE, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2010

Z21

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Z22

SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2010

WWW.THESTATE.COM

THE STATE, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

Congratulations to USC Baseball Team, College World Series Champions
Merchandise Arriving Daily!

Magnet $5.99 Wood Sign $18.99 House Flag 27"x37" $22.50 Locker Room Tee Sm - XXL $19.99 T-Shirts starting at $18.99
(Some styles available in youth sizes)

T-shirt starting at $19.99 Under Armour T-shirt starting at $29.99

Under Armour Polo starting at $59.99

National Championship Hat $21.99

12"x30" Pennant $7.99

License Plate Frame $11.50

Street Sign $6.99 Shot Glass $7.50

Clock $22.50

Travel Mug $11.50

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Decal $2.99

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