We just received word that USC coach Ray Tanner has decided to go with senior right hander Blake Cooper in game one of tonight’s College World Series championship series against UCLA. Cooper is 12-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
This will be Cooper’s third start in eight days in Omaha. He started the Gamecocks opening against Oklahoma on June 20th. He threw 67 pitches in that game before the rain halted play forcing him out of the ball game. He ended up with the loss in that game. He came back against Sooners on June 24th night and threw 98 pitches in 5 2/3 innings and didn’t factor in the decision.
This one is kind of a head scratcher but who am I to question anything Ray Tanner and Mark Calvi are coming up with at this point. When you start a guy that has pitched less than 30 innings all year and he throws a complete game three hitter you know things are going your way.
I am sure Cooper told the coaching staff he was ready and wanted the ball. Tanner’s history has been to trust his top players when they ask for the ball.
UCLA will have a rested Gerrit Cole on the mound tonight. Cole is 11-3 with a 3.12 ERA. He has allowed five or fewer hits in 13 of his 18 starts this season.