July 1, 2011
Congratulations to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks for their second straight College World Series championship, as they overcame the Florida Gators, 5-2. South Carolina has been undefeated in the last 16 NCAA playoff games, including 11 CWS games, setting records in both categories. They finished the 2011 season with a superb record of 55-14 -- almost as good as U.Va.'s phenomenal 56-12 record. (Sorry, I couldn't resist pointing that out. ) See ESPN. The winning pitcher Michael Roth explained why his team won:
We're not the most talented team, and we don't have the best players position for position, but we go out and stick together as a team. We battle. I can't describe it. We're a bunch of average Joes and love each other and come out and battle.
The keys to baseball success, indeed. It was one week ago that the Gamecocks beat the U.Va. Cavaliers in an incredible 13-inning marathon. South Carolina's triumph makes that loss a little easier to swallow.
For long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans, this has been an especially hard year to take. Yesterday, however, there was a rare moment of joy at Wrigley Field, as Geovanny Soto hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the thirteenth inning, winning the game 5-2. The Giants had scored a run in the top of the inning, and then the Cubs tied it in the bottom of the inning before Soto stepped up to the plate. To make the drama even better, the count was 3-2 with two outs. See ESPN. Unfortunately, most of the bleachers and even some of the box seats were empty by then. In interleague play this afternoon, at Wrigley Field again, the Cubs blew a two-run lead late in the game and lost to the White Sox, 6-4.
As the midseason approaches, it is time for all serious baseball fans to weigh in on who should be tapped to play in the All Star Game. Here are my "fair and balanced" selections: