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Florida Gators swept by South Carolina Gamecocks in College World Series final

OMAHA, Neb. — It wasn't supposed to end this way.

Not for the preseason national-title favorite and top-ranked team in the country. Not for the team that captured the regular season and tournament titles in the nation's toughest conference.

But it did.

Florida's season ended Tuesday night when reigning national champion South Carolina successfully defended its title by sweeping the Gators in the College World Series with a 5-2 win in Game 2 of the final series.

The Gamecocks (55-14) won their NCAA-record 16th straight tournament game and became the first back-to-back CWS champs since Oregon State in 2006-07. They became the first team to go 10-0 in an NCAA tournament and the first since Oregon State in 2007 to go unbeaten in a CWS.

They also beat their SEC rival Gators for the fifth time in six tries this season.

"They earned this one," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of the Gamecocks. "They were a little bit better than us in all phases.

"We just didn't do enough. They just did a little bit more."

After struggling to score in Monday's 11-inning 2-1 Game 1 loss, the Gators (53-19) were flummoxed again, this time by left-hander Michael Roth (14-3), who entered with a 0.98 ERA for the season and held Florida without a run after it got leadoff men on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

South Carolina's ace, pitching on three days' rest, went 72/3 sharp innings, allowing both runs on five hits.

UF starter Karsten Whitson rolled through the first two innings before unraveling in the third as South Carolina scored three times to take a 3-0 lead.

Shortstop Peter Mooney led off with an opposite-field double. Following a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Scott Wingo, who was named the CWS's outstanding player, hit a sacrifice fly to center. After another walk, UF shortstop Nolan Fontana booted a high chopper, allowing a second run to score.

The Gamecocks got their third run on an infield squibbler by designated hitter Brady Thomas.

The Gators got on the board in the fourth when catcher Mike Zunino hit his 19th homer to lead off.

In the fifth, the Gators had two on and no outs, but No. 9 hitter Cody Dent botched a bunt attempt and fouled out on a third strike. Two pitches later, Bryson Smith hit into a double play.

Whitson, a freshman All-American who was the No. 9 overall draft pick by the Padres in 2010, left in the bottom of the inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He took the loss, his only one of the season, and finished 8-1.

Tommy Toledo came on to strike out Jake Williams.

In the sixth, South Carolina's Mooney, whose brother Mike played for the Gators in 2009, hit a solo homer into the rightfield bullpen to make it 4-1.

The Gators wasted two more scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh. For the series, the Gators were 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

In the eighth, Zunino doubled, and that hit knocked Roth out of the game. Zunino scored on Adams' two-out RBI single.

Roth was replaced by Adam Price, who recorded his 20th save of the season with a scoreless 11/3.

Florida's Dent and Bryson Smith were named to the all-tournament team.

S. Carolina 5

Florida 2

s. carolina wins series 2-0

Florida Gators swept by South Carolina Gamecocks in College World Series final 06/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 8:13am]
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