The South Carolina Gamecocks can capture back-to-back national championships if they win Tuesday's game of the 2011 College World Series championship series with the Florida Gators. South Carolina needed 11 innings to win, 2-1, Game 1 on Monday night. On one play, Florida catcher Mike Zunino and center fielder Bryson Smith each threw the ball away to allow Christian Walker to score on a steal of second.
After a strong 7.2 innings and one run allowed by Hudson Randall on Monday night, the Florida Gators turn to freshman Karsten Whitson, the ninth overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. In his first season, Whitson impressed with an 8-0 record in 18 starts with a 2.43 ERA and 88 strikeouts.
South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner will likely start Michael Roth on three days' rest to capture the College World Series title. Throwing 90 pitches in seven innings in his last game to reach the championship series, Roth has gone 13-3 with a 0.98 ERA this season. Can Roth come up with a gutsy performance and lead the Gamecocks to victory, or will his arm be too tired if he does indeed start on three days' rest.
Florida 1B and Rockies draftee Preston Tucker went 1-for-4 with a walk in the first game.
Here is the complete championship schedule:
Championship Game 1: South Carolina def. Florida, 2-1 (11 innings)
Championship Game 2: Florida vs. South Carolina, 6 p.m. MT, Tuesday, June 28, ESPN/ESPN3.com
Championship Game 3: Florida vs. South Carolina, 6 p.m. MT, Wednesday, June 29, ESPN/ESPN3.com - if necessary