Deciding Games To Be Played As South Carolina, TCU Win At 2010 College World Series

June 26, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Both South Carolina and TCU needed wins over Clemson and UCLA respectively to stay alive in the 2010 College World Series.  They got just that Friday night with South Carolina beating Clemson 5-1, and TCU beating UCLA 6-2.

Used primarily as a situational reliever, South Carolina starter Michael Roth was called upon to make the start Friday night.  A loss and the Gamecocks would pack their bags.  A win meant forcing a deciding third game Saturday for the title of Bracket 2.

Roth had gone past three innings only twice in his 48 appearances for the Gamecocks.  It was a his first start in 14 months, and he shined throwing a three-hit complete game.  He walked only one batter and struck out four in the 33 batters he faced.  He needed just 109 pitches to complete the performance.

“I didn’t expect to go nine innings,” said Roth, his left arm packed in ice. “I really expected to at least go five and after that take it one inning at a time. My arm is sore. Hopefully I can bounce back quick — not tomorrow. We train hard and I think anybody in the bullpen is ready to go out there and throw as many as they can. Adrenaline did help.”

After the game, South Carolina coach Ray Tanner commented on the impressive performance by his sophomore.

“For me, it’s hard to imagine, under those circumstances. … Not expecting it to be the performance that he got, it was most impressive,” Tanner said. “I can’t say enough great things about Michael Roth and what he did for us tonight.”

The other game featured an impressive pitching performance as well, but from a more experienced pitcher.  Matt Purke recorded his NCAA-leading 16th win, as the Horned Frogs beat the Bruins 6-2.  The win put Purke in the TCU record books with the most wins in a season.  TCU also forced a deciding game Saturday against UCLA.

Purke has a 97 mph fastball that strikes out hitters faster than most college pitchers.  Friday, Purke benefited from the ground ball out, getting 14, and only recording two strikeouts.  Purke will get the outs any way they come, and reflected on his College World Series experience thus far.

“This place is an adventure,” Purke said. “You never know what’s going to happen here. We’ve been told since we knew we were coming to expect the unexpected. I was able to go out today a little different than what I’m used to throwing. But hey, I’ll take ground-ball outs all day and no balls in the air. So not bad.”

The game feature two top draft picks on the mound, Purke a first-round draft pick by the Texas Rangers, and Bob Rasmussen a second-round pick of the Marlins.  Rasmussen didn’t fare as well, leaving in the fifth.

His replacement, Garett Claypool, gave up TCU’s biggest homerun to Taylor Featherson to give the Horned Frogs a three run lead.

It will be the first time since 1988 that both brackets needed deciding games to set the participants in the best-of-three championship round.

USA Sportsbooks have set the Bruins as the favorite in their game against the Horned Frogs at -170, with the TCU underdog line set at +140.  The Gamecocks come into their game the underdogs at Even, while the Tigers are the favorites at -130.

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