Gamecock freshman pitcher Blake Cooper threw seven shutout innings for the Columbia Blowfish in an 11-0 pounding of Florence. Cooper struck out eight, including five of the first six batters of the game.
It was a preview of the great things to come for Cooper. Blake would lead the Gamecocks to the National Championship as a senior in 2010. He posted an impressive 13-2 record, with a sparkling 2.76 ERA for the champion Gamecocks.
His performance in the first game of the CWS championship series vs. UCLA will long be remembered. He tossed eight innings, allowed only three hits and one run, and struck out ten Bruin hitters. Carolina won the game by a score of 7-1, and Cooper was the winning pitcher. His performance put USC in the drivers’ seat with a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.