Wildcats New NCAA Champions

The Arizona Wildcats swept the two time defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks to become the new NCAA defending champions.  After winning the opener 5-1 the Wildcats took the second game of the best of three 4-1.  This game was a little more tense, with Michael Roth and James Farris dueling to a 1-1 duel after eight.  Roth was gone after two outs in the seventh while Farris departed after two were out in the eighth.

Farris may have been undone by a 12 pitch at bat by Christian Walker in the seventh.  He eventually walked and scored the tying run on a ground out by Kyle Martin.

Robert Refsnyder started the ninth inning rally for the Wildcats with a single.  In the opening game it was his 2-run homer in the first inning that was too much for the Gamecocks to overcome.  A Brandon Dixon double broke the 1-1 tie and number nine hitter Trent Gilbert came through with a 2-run single to make it 4-1.  For Gilbert it was his second and third RBIs of the game.  He drove in the first Wildcat run in the third inning with a ground out.

South Carolina was not done, loading the bases with only one out in the bottom of the ninth.  Despite two walks in the inning Mathew Troupe stayed on the mound to get the last two outs to preserve the victory.  It is their first national title since 1986.  Andy Lopez, the coach for Arizona became the second coach to win national championships for two schools, having took Pepperdine to the national championship in 1992 (Augie Garrido was the first with championships at Cal State Fullerton and Texas).  Twenty years is a long time between national championships for Lopez, but 26 years is even longer for Wildcat fans.

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