Father quits job to see son pitch for Gamecocks

OMAHA, Neb. (WIS/AP) - David Roth wasn't about to miss seeing his son pitch for South Carolina in the College World Series. He went to extreme lengths to do it.

Roth quit his job as a car salesman in Greer, S.C.

Roth was in Omaha last year when the Gamecocks won the national title, but his job kept him from watching Michael Roth pitch. No way that was going to happen this year.

"They were like, 'You know, you don't have any vacation days,' " Michael said Monday. "He said, 'I've got to go out there to Omaha,' so he just quit."

David Roth was in the stands Sunday, soaking up Michael's 7 1-3 innings of work against Texas A&M. All four runs he allowed were unearned.

The 5-4 win thrilled the Gamecocks fans, but for Michael it was extra meaningful.

"Obviously, it was pretty special considering it was Father's Day yesterday," he said Monday. "I'm glad that he's here. It's been pretty cool having my family here."

Michael didn't know his dad had sacrificed his job for the College World Series until he had dinner with his family on Saturday.

"My mom mentioned something after super regionals," he said. "She was like, 'I think dad's going to come.' I said, 'Really? He's going to get off work?'

"She was like, 'He's either going to get off work or he's going to quit.' "

On Saturday Roth tweeted: "How's this for dedication? My dad had to quit his job to make it out to Omaha."

The junior left-hander said it was disappointing that his dad couldn't see his two quality starts a year ago.

Michael Roth (13-3), a 31st-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, became one of the nation's premier starting pitchers after working as a reliever most of last season. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 37 1-3 innings since May 13. His season ERA is 0.97.

The Gamecocks play Virginia in a Bracket 2 winners' game Tuesday.

"My main role tomorrow will be cheering," he said. "We'll be doing plenty of that. We'll be fired up and ready to go."

Having his dad here for as long as the Gamecocks stay alive makes this CWS an even bigger thrill.

"My dad's been a huge inspiration for baseball for me," he said. "It's definitely nice to have him out here."

Head Coach Ray Tanner was impressed with the gesture. "Wow! That's family love," said Tanner. " I don't know what his mom had to say about that, but it's a tight knit family and I'm sure he felt like he had to do that and I wish him well. I hope he gets a lot of job offers."

Is he worried about his dad getting another job?

"No, he'll be OK," Michael said. "Gamecock Nation will help us out."

Michael's mother told News Ten's Mandy Mitchell that the family doesn't want any publicity for this and that her husband was simply doing this to support his son.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.