With one out and the based chock full of Gators in the bottom of the ninth inning of Monday’s Game 1 of the College World Series, things looked bleak for the defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks.
In a game highlighted by dominant pitching and dazzling defensive plays, the score was deadlocked at 1-1 and Florida appeared poised to snag the upper hand in the best-of-three series.
But South Carolina second baseman Scott Wingo made a pair of tremendous plays on sharply hit groundballs to force extra innings where two Florida throwing errors gave the Gamecocks a 2-1 win in 11 innings.
It was a memorable night for Wingo whose eighth-inning RBI single off Florida starter Hudson Randall spoiled the pitcher’s otherwise brilliant night on the mound. Randall allowed only three hits and one walk in 7 2/3 innings while striking out six.
But South Carolina’s staff was just as good, limiting the Gators’ high-powered offense to eight hits in 11 innings.
Friday night the Gamecocks outlasted Virginia in 13 innings and last year Whit Merrifield’s one-out single in the bottom of the 11th gave South Carolina its first College World Series title.
Be sure to extend your DVR recording so you don’t miss any extra innings in Tuesday’s Game 2.
And don’t forget, much more than SEC bragging rights are on the line in this series. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Rick Scott raised the stakes with a barbeque dinner vs. key lime pie wager all in the spirit of America’s three pastimes: baseball and gambling and gluttony.