Arizona has beaten South Carolina, 4-1, to capture its fourth national championship, and its first since 1986.
The Wildcats broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the ninth against all-time College World Series wins leader Matt Price. Brandon Dixon, a .240 hitter who entered the game as a defensive substitution at first base in the 6th, drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double down the left-field line. That chased Price and left runners on second and third. Two batters later, freshman Trent Gilbert provided two crucial insurance runs with a two-run single to right.
The Wildcats shined in all phases of the game during the postseason, and they finished the NCAA tournament a perfect 10-0. They earned this championship by knocking off the two-time defending national champions. The Wildcats needed to beat Michael Roth or Price in order to end the South Carolina dynasty; Roth turned in 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball before handing off to Price, with Arizona leading 1-0. The Gamecocks manufactured a run in the seventh to take Roth off the hook, but that was all the scoring Arizona starter James Farris would allow in 7 2/3 stellar innings—in his first start since regionals, more than three weeks ago.
The Gamecocks battled until the very end, loading the bases with one out in the ninth against freshman closer Mathew Troupe. But Troupe got Tanner Enlish to line out, and Grayson Greiner to fly out to right to end it, setting off a dog pile behind the mound.
I'll have plenty more on Arizona's championship after the postgame festivities and interviews.
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