OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Whit Merrifield's RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning gave South Carolina its first baseball national championship with a 2-1 victory over UCLA in the College World Series on Tuesday night.
The Gamecocks (54-16) won six straight games after losing their CWS opener against Oklahoma. They also won the last championship played at Rosenblatt Stadium, the CWS' home since 1950.
Scott Wingo drew a leadoff walk and took second when catcher Steve Rodriguez, perhaps distracted when Evan Marzilli squared to bunt, let an inside 1-0 pitch get past him. Wingo moved to third when Marzilli got a bunt down, and scored when Merrifield drilled a 2-0 pitch by Dan Klein (6-1) past pulled-in outfield of the Bruins (51-17).
Wisconsin Woodchucks signee Chris Giovinazzo was 0-3 with a walk in the championship game, but did reach first on an error with 2 out in the top of the 9th. The Bruins ended up loading the bases, but couldn't push across the go-ahead run.
UCLA also features Woodchucks signee Mitchell Beacom, a relief pitcher who did not see action in the championship series, and former Chuck Brett Krill who went 2-5 in the final game.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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