Tuesday, June 28, 2011

South Carolina Repeats As NCAA Champion

"Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character." -John Wooden.

The South Carolina Gamecocks won their second consecutive national title in baseball Tuesday night, besting the Florida Gators 5-2.

The win marked two NCAA records--16 straight wins in NCAA Tournament play and 11 straight in the College World Series.

They definitely received lucky breaks along the way, with Virginia and Florida making game-changing throwing errors that led to winning runs. But great teams put themselves in those situations. And when you have amazing defensive plays, coming from second baseman Scott Wingo (CWS Most Outstanding Player) or left fielder Jake Williams gunning Florida's Cody Dent down at the plate to extend the game, that's what wins championships. Playmakers doing the job in pressure-filled situations.

Winning in baseball is a mindset. Florida had many chances (leaving 17 runners on base in the final two games) but they didn't capitalize. The Gamecocks did.

And when you have a pitching staff that allows only 10 runs (not all earned) in five games, you're always in the game. That's what led to the title last year. And that's what got them back this year.

Yet another tale of SEC dominance in collegiate sports.

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