Finally, the long wait was over.
Carolina claimed its first major-sport National Championship after a heart-stopping 2-1 victory over UCLA in the College World Series. The Gamecocks swept the best-of-three series, but it was far from easy. It took eleven innings for Carolina to put away the Bruins in game two.
Junior Whit Merrifield lined a 2-0 pitch for a single to right-field bringing home Scott Wingo from third with the championship run. Wingo had drawn a walk to open the inning, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Evan Marzilli’s beautiful sacrifice bunt moved Wingo down to third where a sacrifice fly could score him. It wouldn’t be necessary though, thanks to Merrifield’s heroics.
Carolina had indeed done the improbable. After losing their CWS opener to Oklahoma, USC ran off six straight victories to claim the CWS title, ironically the last CWS to be held at Rosenblatt Stadium. There was soon to be dancing in the streets of Columbia.