Saturday, June 23, 2012
WILL OVER SKILL
This coming three days the USC Gamecocks will face off against the Arizona Wildcocks [ed.--This was a freudian slip, it's Wildcats of course,but I'm leaving it in cause it is so damn funny.] for the opportunity to win a third NCAA championship. I wish them luck and will closely be following their battles. Even if they come up short, what a wonderful team this has been, special because they just never seemed to panic all season long. They always seem loose, expecting someone to step up and rescue them. Amazing defensive plays all year and in the tourney. When you would see a coming match-up you would often think, "They might be better than the Cocks." But then the guys came through, as if will is more powerful than skill. And skillfull they are nonetheless. They faced down the best pitching staff in Arkansas, and what great games they were. Someone had to lose, but the Razorbacks fought as hard as their namesakes. Roth, Webb, Price, Walker, Mazilli and the older guys have been solid, if not spectacular at times, and the new guys such as Pankake and Montgomery have sparkled. When Greiner hurt himself just before the tourney, Rosenberg stepped up. When people now hear the name Conner English they think of speed. There now should be a bronze for our coach, the new stadium should be "The Tanner," and he should truly be considered amongst the greatest all-time college baseball skippers. For a sports-champion starved university, their baseball kings have brought pride, not so much for the trophies but for the repuation the players have earned as being committed ballplayer and student athletes, as well as extremely nice and polite fellows. And it seems Omahans have always been impressed by our players. The Gamecocks have not only showed up at Omaha, but have left team and individual records in their wake. Twenty-two win NCAA tourney record, eleven straight at Omaha; the all-time winningest pitcher (Price), most innings pitched (Roth), and I sometimes think, most fans outside of the state of origin. Price and Webb, who pitched 33 CWS innings in games together, have given up 1 earned run in 33 innings. That is almost unheard of. I sure hope they contuinue their winning ways and bring back to Columbia some additional hardware. But the greatest gift they have given Gamecock fans is HOPE! And some wonderful memories.