The Arizona Wildcats captured their fourth College World Series (CWS) crown Monday night in their defeat of the two-year reigning champion South Carolina Gamecocks in Omaha, Nebraska. It was their first college baseball national title since 1986, and they did it in impressive fashion.
Arizona swept the best-of-three series by wining game 1 by a score of 5-1, and the second by a score of 4-1.
Sophomore pitcher James Farris held the Gamecocks to one run and two hits in 7 ⅔ innings as his team, thanks to a game-tying double by Brandon Dixon, rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth. It was Dixon’s first hit of the CWS, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Closer Mathew Troupe came in to finish it off.
But South Carolina didn’t go down without a fight, loading the bases with just one out in the bottom half of the final inning. It wasn’t enough though as two straight outs would seal the game and the championship for the Arizona Wildcats.
The Wildcats’ junior right-fielder Robert Refsnyder was named the CWS’s Most Outstanding Player.
Arizona’s victory denied the Gamecocks the chance to become the first team to win three straight national titles in more than forty years.
With the win, the Wildcats’ head-coach Andy Lopez became just the second coach in NCAA baseball history to win a national title with two different programs (he won with Pepperdine in 1992. Texas Longhorns coach Augie Garrido is the only other to accomplish the feat.).
The Wildcats pounced through the tournament despite not being named as one of the top 8 national seeds.
They had a perfect record in the post-season, sweeping through the Regional, Super Regional, and CWS.