This is the fourth time that Arkansas and South Carolina have met in the Men's College World Series (MCWS). Arkansas won the first two meetings, a 1-0 win in 14 innings on May 31, 1985, and a 2-1 win on June 18, 2012. South Carolina, meanwhile, captured a 2-0 decision on June 21, 2012, and tonight's contest.
Arkansas and South Carolina met three times this season in Fayetteville and three times in the MCWS. South Carolina holds a 4-2 advantage in those games.
In the 2012 Men's College World Series, the team to score first is now 10-3. All three-comeback victories have been by South Carolina. The Gamecocks fell behind Florida, 2-0, yet took the game 7-3 on June 16. South Carolina fell behind Kent State on June 21, 1-0, before winning 4-1.
Through the MCWS's first 13 games this year, the losing team's starting pitcher has averaged just 3.23 innings, while the winning team's starter has averaged 6.72 innings.
In the three-game regular-season series between the two schools, the teams combined for 44 runs. In three MCWS matchups, the teams managed only 10 runs. South Carolina (49-18):
The Gamecocks will play in their third consecutive MCWS Championship Finals and make a bid for their third straight national title.
South Carolina (2010-11-12) joins Texas (2004-05-09) as the only programs to play in three MCWS Championship Finals.
South Carolina will look to become the first team since Southern California (1970-74) to win three straight national championships. Southern California is the only program to win more than two consecutive national titles.
South Carolina has now won seven straight MCWS elimination games dating back to the 2010 MCWS.
The Gamecock pitching staff closed the game with a 1.71 ERA (84.0 IP, 16 ER) in the NCAA Tournament, including a 0.86 mark by the bullpen. South Carolina's relief corps has fanned 39 and allowed three earned runs on just 11 hits in 31.1 innings this postseason.
South Carolina is 42-1 in 2012 when leading after eight innings.
South Carolina has won nine of its last 12 games versus Arkansas.
South Carolina has allowed four runs or fewer in 19 straight MCWS games. The Gamecocks have not given up five runs in a game in Omaha since June 22, 2004 (15-11 win over Miami Hurricanes).
South Carolina has also allowed four runs or less in every game of the NCAA Tournament this year. The last team to make it to the MCWS and complete its showing without giving up more than four runs in any NCAA Tournament game was Miami (FL) in 1982. That year, Miami swept the Atlantic Regional with wins over Stetson (18-2), South Florida (9-4) and Stetson again (15-3) before going 5-0 in the MCWS (wins of 7-2 over Maine, 4-3 over Wichita State, 2-1 over Texas, 10-4 over Maine and 9-3 over Wichita State).
South Carolina has played in a school-record 28 one-run games this year (15-13 record).
South Carolina became the first team to draw nine or more walks in an MCWS game since June 18, 2009, when North Carolina pitchers walked 10 Arizona State batters in a 12-5 Sun Devil victory.
Matt Price set a new MCWS record with his fifth career victory. He broke a tie with 10 other pitchers who each had four career wins. Price extended his record in games finished at the MCWS as he closed his 11th game, and he now ranks second all-time with 12 career appearances.
In the MCWS, Price has allowed just one run in 24.2 innings for a 0.36 career ERA that ranks third all-time (minimum 20.0 IP). He has punched out 33 in those games and has an active 18.2-inning scoreless streak at the MCWS. He has allowed one extra-base hit in his MCWS career.
Christian Walker is 26-for-68 (.382) for his career in the MCWS, including 6-for-16 (.375) this year. The 26 hits are second most in MCWS history, behind only the 28 from North Carolina's Dustin Ackley (2007-09).
Walker moved into a tie for third on the all-time at-bats list with 68. (North Carolina's Chad Flack and Garrett Gore share the record with 73 each.)
Evan Marzilli drew a season-high three walks in the game. Marzilli had not drawn a walk in 62 plate appearances dating back to May 18.
Joey Pankake entered the game just 1-for-18 in this year's MCWS, but had two hits in three at bats on Friday night.
Tyler Webb has appeared in 38 games this season, tied for the second-most in Gamecock history behind only John Taylor's 50 last year. Webb has not allowed a run in his NCAA Tournament career, yielding just six hits in 18.2 innings with 17 strikeouts (14 appearances).
Webb has not allowed a run in 14.1 innings at the MCWS (seven appearances). He is holding opponents to a .111 batting average, surrendering just five hits. This includes his 5.1-inning scoreless stint on Monday in South Carolina's 2-1 loss to Arkansas and a four-inning effort tonight.
Webb is the first pitcher to have two separate scoreless relief outings of 4.0 innings or more in a single MCWS since 1997, when Stanford's Jeff Austin notched a 4.0-inning save against Auburn on May 30 and then pitched the final 6.1 innings of another Cardinal victory over Auburn on June 3.