Roth and Gamecocks Shut Down Tigers, 5-1
June 25, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In his first start of the season, sophomore left-hander Michael Roth hurled a three-hit complete game and was backed by an offense that included a home run by Kyle Enders and two RBI by Jackie Bradley Jr. as South Carolina defeated Clemson 5-1 on Friday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET with the winner advancing to the championship series at the 2010 College World Series. The game will be televised on ESPNHD and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
Roth was masterful throughout the evening as he limited the Tigers to just one double and a pair of singles. Roth, making only his third start of his career, went the distance and allowed just one run while striking out four batters and walking just one. Along with the four strikeouts, he had 16 ground ball outs and six fly outs. He is now 2-1 on the year. Clemson starter Dominic Leone lasted only 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with a walk. He is now 3-2 for the season.
"We played a near perfect game today for us," said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. "We manufactured some runs early. Played pretty solid defense. They hit a couple of balls hard. We were right there to catch them. And what can you say about Michael Roth's performance? I was very confident going into the game that he would give us a chance to win through three or four innings. I know him well. He's been an outstanding pitcher for us all year and my confidence level was that he would get the game going for us and we'd have a chance through three or four and we'd have to figure out what we were going to do. And then he kept stretching it out. That was one of the most impressive performances I've ever had a young man pitch for me. That was certainly one for the record books, as far as I'm concerned."
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Evan Marzilli led off with a double down the left field line and with one out scored on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s RBI groundout to the shortstop. That lead increased to 2-0 in the second inning as Brady Thomas led off with a double of his own and scored on Adrian Morales' RBI single to right field. It was pushed to 3-0 in the top of the third as Marzilli drew a walk and after stealing second base, scored on Bradley's RBI double to the gap in left center.
Clemson got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning to cut Carolina's lead to 3-1 as Richie Shaffer doubled to open the frame and with one out scored on a passed ball issued by catcher Kyle Enders. South Carolina reclaimed a three-run cushion in the top of the fourth inning as Enders launched a two-out solo homer to left field, his third round tripper of the year giving Carolina a 4-1 advantage. After a scoreless fifth inning, Enders drove in his second run of the game with a two-out RBI base hit in the top of the sixth to score Thomas and extend the lead to 5-1 against the Tigers. Clemson's looked to rally in the eighth inning but could not get on the scoreboard again vs. Roth. With two runners on and one out, Roth induced a fielder's choice and then a fly out to hold the Tigers at bay.
Carolina had eight hits to Clemson's three on the evening. Bradley extended his hitting streak to 20 games with his RBI double in the third inning. Enders was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Thomas went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Marzilli also reached three times and had two runs scored as well.
Roth's complete game was the first by a Gamecock pitcher at the College World Series since Steven Bondurant on June 21, 2002 in a 10-2 win over Clemson. It is the fifth complete game by a Gamecock pitcher this year. Roth's previous longest stint was 4.1 innings on April 14, 2009 vs. College of Charleston.