The baseball gods weren’t quite ready to turn the lights off at Rosenblatt Stadium for the final time in just nine innings. The South Carolina Gamecocks are the 2010 National Champions of Division I college baseball after a 2-1 win over UCLA in 11 innings.
After tying the game up in the bottom of the 8th inning, USC’s Whit Merrifield’s RBI single with one out gave the Gamecocks their first national title. The Gamecocks (54-16) won six straight games after losing their CWS opener against Oklahoma, closing out Rosenblatt Stadium, the CWS’ home since 1950.
In the 11th, Scott Wingo drew a leadoff walk and took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on on a bunt. That brought up Merrifield, who was surprised he wasn’t walked along with the next batter to set up a double play.
He hammered a 2-0 pitch from Dan Klein past the pulled-in outfield of the Bruins (51-17) and into right field. Matt Price (5-1) got the win, allowing one hit in 2.2 innings. The Bruins loaded the bases in the top of the ninth against Price. Chris Giovinazzo reached on a chopper to third that forced a bad throw from Adrian Morales’ trying to hurrty. Trevor Brown blooped a single center, and Price walked Rodriguez, the No. 9 batter, on four pitches, but Price struck out Niko Gallego to get out of trouble.
Michael Roth, a reliever who pitched a three-hit complete game Friday in a 5-1 win over Clemson in his first start in 14 months, got the ball on three days’ rest. He went five innings and allowed a run on six hits, walked two and struck out three. He talks about his performance.