Pitching evolution positioned Gamecocks for title

June 29, 2011 - 4:45 PM
CWS Finals Baseball

University of South Carolina's Michael Roth delivers a pitch in the first inning during game two of the 2011 College World Series best-of-three final series against Florida at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. South Carolina won their second NCAA baseball title by beating the Gators 5-2. (AP Photo/The State - Gerry Melendez)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — South Carolina is celebrating its second straight national championship after a starting rotation that struggled at the start of the season turned into one of its biggest strengths.

The Gamecocks clinched the title with a 5-2 victory over Florida on Tuesday, completing a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals.

Coach Ray Tanner said Michael Roth was the anchor for the rotation after moving from the bullpen late last season. He went 14-3 with a 1.03 ERA this season and was the winning pitcher Tuesday.

The Gamecocks also found dependable starters in Forrest Koumas and Colby Holmes after beginning the year with others in the rotation.

John Taylor set a school record with 50 appearances out of the bullpen, and Matt Price's 20 saves were double the number he had last year.