The Arizona Wildcats beat South Carolina 4-1 on Monday night to win the College World Series, a game that was a microcosm of their late-season run.
Great starting pitching — 7 2/3 innings from James Farris, who allowed one run and two hits.
Depth of batting order — All four RBIs came from the bottom third of the order, including a two-run single in the ninth from No. 9 hitter Trent Gilbert.
Defense — Gilbert made a diving catch of a line drive in the ninth, and Seth Mejias-Brean made two stellar plays, including taking a chance to get a force out at second in the eighth.
The Wildcats never trailed in the Series.
Arizona won its fourth College World Series, adding to titles won in 1976, 1980 and 1986, all under coach Jerry Kindall.
UA’s Andy Lopez, meanwhile, becomes the second coach in NCAA history to win titles at two schools, joining Augie Garrido, who won with Cal State Fullerton (1979, 1984 and 1995) and Texas (2002 and 2005).
Lopez also sets the record for most time elapsed between titles, breaking the mark of 11 years held by Garrido.
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Three outs away …
–South Carolina lead-off hitter in the ninth, Christian Walker, singles to left.
–LB Dantzler walks.
–Adam Matthews is the tying run. He strikes out swinging on a foul tip.
–Kyle Martin walks on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.
–Tanner English is the potential winning run. He lines a shot up the middle that Trent Gilbert lays out to catch, and he nearly doubles up Dantzler, who dives back to the bag just in time. Two outs.
–Grayson Greiner flies out to right…
And the Arizona Wildcats are national champions, winning 4-1.
Yes!!! Champs!! Great job coach Lopez and U of A baseball!!!
— Rich Rodriguez (@CoachRodAZ) June 26, 2012
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Robert Refsnyder leads off the top of the ninth with a bouncer over the third baseman. Seth Mejias-Brean attempts a sacrifice with two strikes, and gets the job done as Refsnyder moves to second. Bobby Brown is walked intentionally, bringing up Brandon Dixon — and the defensive replacement delivers.
He hits a breaking ball hard down the line, driving in Refsnyder with a double as Arizona goes up 2-1. That’s it for Price, who gives way to lefty Tyler Webb, who strikes out Riley Moore. Another run would be huge as Trent Gilbert comes up with two runners in scoring position.
How about two runs?
Gilbert singles to right to make it 4-1 in the ninth. Typical of Arizona. Everyone hits. Even the No. 9 hitter.
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Mathew Troupe makes the pitch of his life, striking out Joey Pankake on a 3-2 pitch on the outside to end the eighth inning with a runner of third. Troupe celebrates with a fist pump, a leg kick and a huge scream.