In the bottom of the 11th with the game tied, one out, and a runner on third, Whit Merrifield was at bat with a 2-0 count. Could this be it? Could this be South Carolina's time to win the National Championship? I wasn't going to believe it until Scott Wingo touched home. I was a basket-case...watching it by myself with Mr. Tully Mars and the game on mute (the ESPN commentators were making me mad). You see, South Carolina is plagued by the Chicken Curse. This curse prevents any good team to prosper at South Carolina.
Well, the Chicken Curse was shaken in 2010. Whit Merrifield had the last bat at the famed Rosenblatt Stadium. Whit will be remembered forever by all Gamecocks.
But, I am getting a little ahead of myself. South Carolina had to battle back from an opening game lose to make their way to the championship series. They were not only playing for a championship; they were playing for a special little boy, Bayler Teal. Bayler had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2008. He lost his fight with this terrible disease during the College World Series. The team had become close to the Teal family through the years. Coach Holbrook did not tell the team that Bayler had passed away until after their game that day. Playing an elimination game with Oklahoma, Carolina was down to its last out in the bottom of the 12th. Brady Thomas's base hit was good enough to score Jackie Bradley, Jr and set-up an elimination series with our in-state rival, Clemson.
One thing was certain, a team from South Carolina was going to be facing UCLA in the championship series. This just goes to show the level of baseball played in SC. We had to beat Clemson twice to advance. Again, I was thinking "we are going to mess it up." However, we had a little angel on our side.
As we moved on to the championship series, Gamecocks everywhere were wondering is THIS it? Are we, finally, going to win our first national championship in a major men's sport?
|Whit Merrifield after the ball touched down in right field.|
|Scott Wingo touching home!|
|Jackie Bradley, Jr. - College World Series MVP|
|We are the CHAMPIONS!|
The Gamecocks return to the diamond today at 3:00. I wish I could be there, but I have class all day. Boo!
For those of you that don't know me IRL, I am a sports fanatic. Ok, maybe that is a little extreme, but I do love sports. Being the first born and my Dad having all girls, I was chosen to watch sports with him and to understand them. I started playing t-ball/softball when I was five and continued to play through high school. I like basketball, but I don't have the same love of the game as I do for football and baseball. Maybe, it's a southern thing?
The most exciting thing about baseball opening today is that spring is upon us!
Have a wonderful weekend y'all!