Coach Bobby Richardson and his Gamecocks advanced to the College World Series championship game after rallying to defeat Arizona State 4-1. Playing in its first CWS, the Gamecocks made the most of it, advancing on to play powerful Texas for all the marbles.
Gamecocks’ starter Tim Lewis was excellent, with the added incentive of pitching on his Mom’s birthday. Lewis defeated previously unbeaten Sun Devil ace Greg Cochran (14-0) in a tremendous duel with both tossing complete games.
The game was scoreless headed to the bottom of the eighth. ASU’s Bob Pate singled, and Jerry Maddox hit a bloop triple that was just fair down the right field line to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead. With ASU clinging to a razor-thin 1-0 lead, 2B Mark Van Bever led off the ninth for USC with a double.
Jeff Grantz bunted the tying run down to third, and Garry Hancock singled in Van Bever to even the score at 1. Then, USC broke it open after a single, a walk, and two Sun Devil errors to lead 4-1. Lewis retired Arizona State in order in the bottom of the ninth, and the Gamecocks had earned a trip to the championship game in their first try in Omaha.