FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. – In a thrilling game one of the 2011 College World Series finals, South Carolina edged Florida, 2-1, using a stolen base and a two errors by the Gators in the top of the 11th to claim its 15th-straight NCAA tournament win Monday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Gamecocks, who trailed 1-0 through the first seven innings of the contest, plated an eighth-inning run to knot the game at 1-1 and used key defensive plays in the ninth and 10th to stay alive for their 11th-inning game-winning run.
South Carolina (54-14) and Florida (53-18) will duel in game two on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks matched Texas’ (1983-84) record of 15-straight NCAA postseason wins with the victory tonight and have won 10-straight MCWS games.
After Florida starter Hudson Randall kept the South Carolina bats quiet through 7.2 innings, the defending national champions tagged the sophomore with one run in the eighth, capitalizing on a no-out walk to open the frame. Peter Mooney worked the free pass and advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly before Scott Wingo delivered a single up the middle to make it 1-1.
Randall had sat down 10 straight, retired 18 of 19 Gamecocks since the second inning and had not allowed a runner to third until the walk to Mooney and subsequent run in the eighth.
With the Gators threatening in the very next inning, Wingo, who delivered the game-tying RBI, put on a defensive display in the ninth inning to keep Florida off the board. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the junior second baseman snagged a liner and gunned down the Gator runner at home for the first out of the inning before starting a 4-2-3 double play to end the frame and send the contest to extra innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Gamecocks also gunned down the potential UF winning run at home as center fielder Jake Williams nabbed Cody Dent out at the plate.
South Carolina plated its winning run in the top of the 11th in unconventional fashion. Christian Walker, added late to the lineup due to a wrist injury, stroked a one-out single to center off Florida reliever Nick Maronde (0-1). With Brady Thomas at bat, Walker swiped second, moved to third when Gator catcher Mike Zunino’s throw sailed into center field and dashed home when Florida center fielder Bryson Smith overthrew the ball to third base. Walker’s run, scored off the stolen base and two errors, was all the Gamecocks would need as Matt Price shut the Gators down in the bottom of the 11th. John Taylor (8-1) earned the win for USC, pitching the scoreless ninth and 10th innings, while Price picked up his 19th save of the season.
Florida, who appeared to be on pace to shut the Gamecocks out, plated its first run in the bottom of the third. After a Tyler Thompson walk, Daniel Pigott’s grounder moved the runner to second before a wild pitch sent Thompson to third. Dent delivered a sacrifice fly to left to cash in Thompson and give the Gators to the 1-0 lead, one they would carry through seven innings.