I was going to write this post yesterday, but work got in the way. Back in 2002, it was a warm summer night. The bars were packed and pretty much every TV in SC was turned to watch the Gamecocks play Clemson in the world series. Trey Dyson became a house hold name that night as Michael Roth did tonight. I have a feeling we will be talking about the performance Roth did at the CWS for a while. Roth (2-1) started his first game of the season after 35 relief appearances covering only 26 1/3 innings. He had a 1.37 ERA with three saves entering the game, and he went right to work against the Tigers. The polished 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, whose previous longest stint this season was 3 1/3 innings against Bucknell in the NCAA Columbia regional, got 16 groundball outs and threw 109 pitches while carving up the Tigers with an assortment of off-speed pitches and great location.
I hate that what JBJ, Walker and Thomas’s heroic performances so far in Omaha might get thrown under the table but pitching wins games. Saturday will be a night to remember, as neither Jack or Ray would say who would be pitching tomorrow but I have a feeling we might see Dyson vs. Harman. It will be the first time since 1988 that there will be 2 games played on Saturday in the CWS.
Weather Clemson or USC win tomorrow, it has been eye opening for the nation to watch 2 teams from South Carolina prove that a small state can play baseball. I have been in New Orleans for the last 4 days and have had many random people come up to me and say, I had no idea that South Carolina had that much talent. Granted LSU and Texas are both power houses, but people now know that the state of South Carolina produces some great teams.
Ray has been a miracle worker all season with pinch hitting and changing pitchers at the right time all season. I feel whoever he decides to throw tomorrow will get the job done. Look for more tomorrow as it should be an exciting game between two instate rivals.