Carolina’s thrilling ride through the College World Series came up just short of the championship as the Texas Longhorns defeated USC 12-6 in the national championship game. For the third time, Carolina is the national runner-up in the CWS. Texas also defeated Carolina in the 1975 CWS championship game.
It was the last year of the one-game championship format, and it didn’t help Carolina in this case. A rested Texas squad was able to throw its ace, where USC had come through the loser’s bracket and had spent most of its pitching just to advance. USC freshman Aaron Rawl was forced to start on only three days’ rest. The Longhorns jumped on Rawl for four early runs, forcing USC to go to its bullpen early.
UT’s Chris Carmichael connected on a three-run homer in the fifth, pushing the Longhorn lead to a robust 8-2. However, the comeback kids weren’t quite ready to pack it in. USC appeared on the verge of another dramatic comeback victory after scoring two in the seventh and eighth to make it an 8-6 game. However, Texas’ Huston Street struck out slugger Yaron Peters, who represented the tying run, ending the eighth inning rally. Feeling the pressure, the Longhorns responded by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure victory and once again deny Carolina the championship.