South Carolina Gamecocks Win College World Series


First ever baseball championship for Carolina.

The University of South Carolina is on top of the baseball world, college ball that is, thanks to its eleventh-inning 2-1 win on Tuesday. That victory, the second win in as many days over the UCLA Bruins, allowed the Gamecocks to claim the NCAA title for the first time in their history.

Four, Finally

Indeed, it was the fourth time the Gamecocks advanced to the finals, finishing as runner-up in 1975, 1977 and 2002 according to ESPN. The deciding victory came when Whit Merrifield slapped a single past the pulled in UCLA outfield to score Scott Wingo from third base.

With the win, the Gamecocks closed the door on the 2009-2010 athletic season which always ends when baseball crowns a champion. Well over a month after most students leave campus for the summer, college baseball teams battle it out in hopes of reaching Omaha, Nebraska, the perpetual home of the College World Series.

Rosenblatt’s End

This year’s series had another special meaning besides the Gamecocks’ triumph. Historic Rosenblatt Stadium, a 61-year-old venue and Omaha shrine to baseball was hosting its final world series. Omaha will still host the World Series annually with the new TD Ameritrade Park taking Rosenblatt’s place. 23,000 people were in attendance for the final game, comparable to what some major league baseball teams (Kansas City Royals) would be happy to draw on any given day.

Few thought that either UCLA or South Carolina would advance so far this year. Last year, the Bruins finished 27-29 and were clearly at or near the bottom rung of the powerful Pac 10 pecking order. South Carolina lost to Oklahoma in the first game of the double-elimination world series before winning six straight to win it all.

Tiger Dance

Two of those victories were against in-state foe Clemson allowing the Gamecocks to claim Palmetto State supremacy while directly eliminating the Tigers.

The University of South Carolina wasted no time celebrating the Gamecocks victory, opening up Colonial Life Arena in Columbia to welcome the team and its fans, showing a replay of Tuesday night’s game. The first 5,000 fans received a commemorative print, a keepsake for South Carolina baseball faithful.

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Categories: Collegiate Sports