June 15, 2012 - June 25, 2012 • TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska • Attendance: 326,734
REBECCA S. GRATZ/THE WORLD-HERALD
Before we commit the 2012 CWS to those history books, let's take a quick review of the highs and lows we witnessed the past 10 days.
• Best game: South Carolina and Arkansas hooked up for three good ones at TD Ameritrade, but the second stands out, if only because of the circumstances. Because rain postponed a Wednesday elimination game against Kent State, the Gamecocks had to win twice last Thursday to stay alive. They beat the Golden Flashes on a great performance from Roth, then got an even better one from No. 3 starter Jordan Montgomery in a 2-0 win over the Razorbacks that forced a second bracket championship game.
• Worst moment: I never will understand the narcissism flowing through some folks that makes them think 24,000 other fans would enjoy seeing them parade on to the field and delay the event. The six knuckleheads who did it during Monday's final game are lucky that the new regime is gentler with trespassers than Jesse Cuevas and his crew.
• Best show of courage: Kent State's Jason Bagoly, who came up big for the Golden Flashes a few days after his mother unexpectedly died. He went 2 for 3 to help Kent State eliminate top-seeded Florida.
• Worst performance: Florida's Gators arrived in Omaha as the team to beat, but played like a bunch of guys who couldn't wait to get on with their pro careers. Their play in losses to South Carolina and Kent State proved raw talent can get you only so far in this game.
• Biggest hit: The game-winning double by Arizona's Brandon Dixon in the ninth inning of the final game. The sophomore was a late-innings defensive specialist who hadn't made solid contact in Omaha until he ripped a slider from Price down the third-base line to break a 1-1 tie.
• Biggest miss: UCLA's Jeff Gelalich is a first-round draft pick, but he had a rough series in Omaha. Gelalich got a hit in his first CWS at-bat but didn't get another after that, going 0 for 10 and striking out three times in his final four at-bats.
• Best play: Arizona reliever Mathew Troupe was playing with fire when he loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth of the last game. Freshman second baseman Trent Gilbert bailed him out, snaring Tanner English's liner up the middle and almost turning it into a season-ending double play. Replays showed Gilbert beat LB Dantzler to the second-base bag after making the catch, but the Wildcats didn't get the call that would have provided a most dramatic ending to the season.
• Hardest pill to swallow: My dad taught me never to blame the umps when things don't go your way, but it's going to be a long summer in Fayetteville after two-bases loaded walks ended the Razorbacks' season. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn took the high road in his public comments about the umpiring, but likely won't be including home plate umpire Perry Costello on his Christmas card list.
• Best quote: “I knew I better do something or I'm never going to be able to live in Columbia again. I left a small village of guys on base in Omaha.” — South Carolina's Matthews, who drew the second bases-loaded walk against Arkansas after failing twice earlier in the game in bases-loaded situations.
— Steven Pivovar
Riley Moore, C, Arizona
Christian Walker, 1B, South Carolina
Devon Travis, 2B, Florida State
Sherman Johnson, 3B, Florida State
Alex Mejia, SS, Arizona
Evan Marzilli, OF, South Carolina
Joey Rickard, OF, Arizona
Robert Refsnyder, OF, Arizona
Bobby Brown, DH, Arizona
Michael Roth, P, South Carolina
Konner Wade, P, Arizona