Gamecocks starting pitcher: "I don't know much about baseball"

OMAHA, NE (WIS) - Perhaps its the geographical difference between South Carolina and Arizona. Or perhaps it's just that Gamecocks starting pitcher Michael Roth has been busy playing 67 games since February.

"I don't know much about baseball other than the games we play," said Roth when asked about what he expects from Arizona in the finals of the College World Series.

"All I know is they've been beating the dog crap out of people," he said.

Roth, Gamecocks outfielder Adam Matthews, and coach Ray Tanner were the USC representatives at a news conference Saturday in Omaha.  Both coaches also posed with the national championship trophy that one of them will be taking home next week.

USC takes on Arizona in a three-game series in an effort to win a third straight national championship.  USC beat Arkansas 3-2 Friday night in an elimination game to advance to the finals.

The Gamecocks are (49-18) this season. Senior Adam Matthews expects the Arizona series to be just as exciting as the Arkansas games.

"It's going to be a great match up," said Matthews. "Both clubs have done a great job and we've gotten better as the year goes on. Hopefully we can get a couple of runs and hopefully they don't mind letting us get a couple of runs here and there."

Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner hasn't announced his starting pitcher. Sophomore right-hander Konner Wade (10-3) will start for Arizona (46-17).

Tanner says the Gamecocks  are pretty good but aren't the 1927 Yankees. He adds that it' takes some luck to reach the finals three years in a row.

The Gamecocks had to replace five regulars from the team that beat Florida in last year's finals. The last school to win three titles in a row was Southern California in the 1970s.

Arizona this season is batting .330 and averaging seven runs a game.

Game one is Sunday at 8 p.m.

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