May 30, 1981 - June 8, 1981 • Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Nebraska • Attendance: 120,535
Rudy Smith / The World-Herald
Arizona State Coach Jim Brock employed a starting pitcher with one day's rest and benched an All-American in the 1981 championship game.
"That's the way we've been doing it all year," Brock said — and the unusual worked again as the No. 1 Sun Devils defeated No. 3 Oklahoma State 7-4 to end the College World Series.
Brock started freshman right-hander Kendall Carter, who had pitched a complete-game victory over South Carolina.
Arizona State won the national championship for the fifth time, the second under Brock, who called the 1981 Sun Devils the best team he'd ever coached.
Brock said the Sun Devils seemed completely relaxed going into the championship game — despite having lost 11-10 in 13 innings to the same Oklahoma State team three nights earlier.
The gamble of lifting All-American sophomore Kevin Romine from the batting order was consistent with the type of moves that had worked all year.
"Never look back," Brock said.
Alvin Davis, Arizona St., 1b, Jr.
Ray Etchebarren, Oklahoma St., 2b
Mike Sodders, Arizona St., 3b, Sr.
Rod Carraway, South Carolina, ss, Sr.
Stan Holmes, Arizona St., of, Sr.
Mickey Tettleton, Oklahoma St., of, Jr.
Mark Gillaspie, Mississippi St., of, Sr.
Burk Goldthorn, Texas, c, Sr.
Lemmie Miller, Arizona St., dh, Jr.
Kevin Dukes, Arizona St., p, Sr.
Don Mundie, Mississippi St., p, Sr.