USC baseball coach Ray Tanner said this about starting pitcher Michael Roth after Saturday's Super Regional game victory over Connecticut: "I thought he'd be special, but not like this."
Roth is 13-3 and an All-SEC pitcher for this season. Below are nuggets of information about each of Roth's victories.
Victory 1 - Feb. 18 vs. Santa Clara
Roth allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six batters over 5 2/3 innings in a 12-5 season-opening win. Tanner cited the poise of Roth — someone whom he believed would not be distracted by the pregame hoopla — as a big reason the crafty lefty earned the start.
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Victory 2 - Feb. 25 vs. Southern Illinois
USC beat the Salukis 10-6, as Roth threw 6 2/3 innings and picked up his second win of the season. He gave up one earned run on four hits while walking two and striking out nine. Roth threw 93 pitches and lowered his ERA from 3.18 to 1.89.
Victory 3 - March 4 vs. Clemson
Roth pitched seven strong innings in a 6-3 series-opening win over Clemson. Roth scattered seven hits over seven innings while walking three and striking out six. The three runs he allowed in the second inning were unearned. Tanner pointed to Roth’s gritty performance as evidence of why he was installed as the No. 1 starter. And despite having to shake off a fender-bender on his way to the ballpark, Roth maintained his usual poise on the mound.
Victory 4 - March 11 vs. Cal State Bakersfield
Roth threw eight strong innings to pick up his fourth win in four starts as the Gamecocks won 5-1. He allowed five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts. The run he allowed was unearned, which dropped his ERA to 0.99.
Victory 5 - March 25 at Florida
USC beat then No. 1 Florida 9-2 as Roth stifled the Gators over a season-high 8 1/3 innings, scattering 10 hits and striking out six.
Victory 6 - April 1 vs. Kentucky
Roth outdueled hard-throwing Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer for a 3-1 victory. Roth allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked one.
Victory 7 - April 7 at Tennessee
Roth worked 7 2/3 scoreless innings and combined with closer Matt Price for a seven-hit shutout as South Carolina beat Tennessee 4-0. Roth scattered six hits while striking out four and walking one.
Victory 8 - April 15 vs. Vanderbilt
Roth outdueled Vanderbilt ace right-hander Sonny Gray as USC beat Vanderbilt 3-1. Roth threw three-hit baseball over 7 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out eight to lower his ERA to 1.24.
Victory 9 - April 22 at Mississippi State
Roth earned his ninth win as USC beat Mississippi State 8-2. Roth walked four and hit two batters, but was able to hold the Bulldogs to two runs on three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and allowed one earned run.
Victory 10 - May 6 at Mississippi
Aided by sufficient run support, Roth led USC to a 6-1 win. Roth gave up one run on six hits while striking out six and walking one in eight innings.
Victory 11 - May 25 vs. Auburn, SEC Tournament
After suffering consecutive losses, Roth used the advice of mom Deborah to pitch his first complete game of the season in a 7-3 win against Auburn in the opening round of the SEC tournament. He pitched on five days’ rest, one fewer than normal, for the second consecutive week. Roth gave up three runs — all unearned, lowering his ERA to 1.17 — on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Victory 12 - June 3 vs. Georgia Southern, NCAA Regional
Roth held Georgia Southern to two hits as the Gamecocks opened the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 victory. Roth pitched brilliantly over seven innings. He allowed two singles and two walks while striking out four. The run he allowed in the third inning was unearned, allowing him to lower his ERA to 1.10.
Victory 13 - June 11 vs. UConn, NCAA Super Regional
Roth outdueled a first-round pick for the third time this season and helped the Gamecocks move one win from returning to the College World Series. He pitched 8 1/3 masterful innings, with the only run allowed an unearned one in the first inning. He gave up six hits while walking three and striking out two on 119 pitches, as he lowered his ERA to a staggering 1.02 over 123 innings in 17 starts.