Coaches and players from USC and Florida spent about an hour Sunday morning taking questions from the media regarding the College World Series championship series which commences Monday night at TD Ameritrade Park. Florida will be the home team for the opener of the best of three series. USC will be the home team Tuesday night, and if necessary, Wednesday night. The Gamecocks beat UCLA last summer in two games to win their first national championship.
Gamecock coach Ray Tanner said he will start freshman righthander Forrest Koumas on the mound Monday night. Koumas has not pitched since since the regionals. He is 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA. Tanner said he did not expect closer Matt Price to be available since he threw over 90 pitches in the Friday night 13 inning win over Virginia.
Florida will counter with their #1 starter, sophomore righthander Hudson Randall. He’s 11-3 with a 2.24 ERA this season. He pitched in the Gators’ CWS opening win against Texas going 6.1 innings and allowing one earned run.
The Gamecocks won two out of three against the Gators in their regular season series in Gainesville. The Gamecocks won the opening game 9-2 with Micheal Roth getting the win. Florida took game two 2-1 with Randall getting the win and Price taking the loss. And the Gamecocks won game three 4-3 with Price getting the victory.
USC is in the CWS finals for the fifth time and is seeking its second straight national title. Florida is in the finals for the second time. The Gators lost in two games to Texas in 2005. The Gators are seeking their first baseball national championship.
USC will also be seeking to stamp its place in the CWS record books again. The Gamecocks were the last champion crowned in Rosenblatt Stadium. They of course would like to be the first to win the title in the new TD Ameritrade Park. There’s been a repeat winner of the CWS eight times in its history. Oregon State was the last to do it in 2007.
(USC: Ray Tanner, Scott Wingo, Michael Roth)
(Florida: Kevin O’Sullivan, Mike Zunino, Preston Tucker)