Gamecocks 'win anyway' in Omaha

South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner says his team has a mindset that it sticks too. That mindset doesn't guarantee they'll win. But it has helped them win 14 straight NCAA tournament games including nine straight in Omaha.

Ray Tanner can't seem to describe it either. He's rarely at a loss for words. But he's careful with how he responds when asked about his team's NCAA record 14-straight NCAA tournament wins and nine-straight College World Series wins.

More amazing than the streak is how the Gamecocks have won those games in Omaha.

Last year, a walk-off to avoid elimination and defeat Oklahoma. Another walk-off single to defeat UCLA and win the college world series.

This season, it's more of the same. A walk-off single from Scott Wingo to defeat Texas A&M in the Gamecocks' first game at TD Ameritrade Park. And right on a cue, a walk-off win on an error in a 3-2 victory over Virginia in a 13-inning thriller to advance to this week's championship series.

Where does it all come from? Tanner says it boils down to a mindset.

"One of the things we have in our program is 'win anyway,'" Tanner says, "because at times, there's a negative comment, there's some adversity. But when that happens or when that's said, those two words come out: 'win anyway.'"

It may sound cliche, but Tanner says that motto means that no matter what happens his team will do all it can to make the opposing team earn everything it gets.

"It's our mentality when you're down by three, the tying run is in the hole, the tying run is in te on-deck circle when you're down by two," he said. "And you've got to get a crack at it. You've got to get yourself in the position. It doesn't always work out, but if the mindset is such that I can, your chances are better."

Tanner doesn't take the credit though.

"I don't think it's anything on my part that I've done special but the players, I believe, getting into the mindset that you get 27 outs let's just play them to the end and hopefully things will work out."

It's worked out 14 straight times for the Gamecocks in the NCAA tournament.

A look at South Carolina's nine-game win streak in Omaha

2011 Season

South Carolina defeats Virginia 3-2

June 24The No. 4 national seed South Carolina Gamecocks took advantage of two throwing errors that led to the winning run and advanced to the Championship Series of the 2011 College World Series with a 3-2 13-inning walk-off win over the No. 1 national seed Virginia Cavaliers on Friday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

South Carolina defeats Virginia 7-1

June 21 - No. 4 national seed South Carolina (52-14) scored three times in the top of the first and never looked back as they handed top-ranked Virginia (55-11) a 7-1 setback Tuesday night in a winner's bracket game at the 2011 College World Series. The victory extended Carolina's postseason winning streak to 13 games dating back to last year, matching a NCAA Tournament record (Regional, Super Regional, and MCWS). Tuesday's win also marked the squad's fifth victory of the season over a top-ranked team, as they defeated both Vanderbilt and Florida twice during the regular season when they were No. 1.

South Carolina defeats Texas A&M 5-4

June 19 - Scott Wingo's bases loaded RBI single off the base of the right field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted South Carolina to a 5-4 victory over Texas A&M (47-21) on day two of the 2011 College World Series.

Wingo, who had a career-high four hits on the night and reached base all five times, knocked a 1-2 pitch from Texas A&M reliever Nick Fleece with no outs and the bases loaded to lift Carolina to the one-run victory. Wingo's walk-off hit was his fourth of the season as well, with previous walk-off hits vs. Georgia, Auburn and Arkansas. The inning began with a double by Robert Beary off the right field wall that just missed a home run and was followed up by a base hit by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a walk to Evan Marzilli to set the stage for Wingo's heroics.

South Carolina is 5-0 in regional and super regional play during the 2011 tournament.


South Carolina defeats UCLA 2-1 to win national title

June 29 - Whit Merrifield singled home Scott Wingo in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting South Carolina to a 2-1 win over UCLA, clinching the National Championship for the Gamecocks. Wingo led off the final frame with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a bunt by Evan Marzilli and scored on Merrifield single to right.

South Carolina defeats UCLA 7-1

June 28 - Senior right-hander Blake Cooper worked into the ninth inning and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out 10 batters and the Gamecocks offense jumped out to a five-run lead in the first three innings as South Carolina defeated UCLA 7-1 in game one of the CWS championship series. Cooper improves to 13-2 on the year and earned his 34th career victory, tying him for fourth all-time in school history.

South Carolina defeats Clemson 4-3

June 26 - Consecutive two-out RBI singles from Christian Walker and Adrian Morales broke a 2-2 tie and freshman right-hander Matt Price came on in relief to earn his fourth win of the season as South Carolina defeated Clemson 4-3 on Friday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium to advance to the championship series of the 2010 College World Series. Carolina is now 52-16 on the year and will play UCLA for the national title beginning on Monday night with first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. ET

South Carolina defeats Clemson 5-1

June 25 - In his first start of the season, sophomore left-hander Michael Roth hurled a three-hit complete game and was backed by an offense that included a home run by Kyle Enders and two RBI by Jackie Bradley Jr. as South Carolina defeated Clemson 5-1 on Friday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET with the winner advancing to the championship series at the 2010 College World Series.

Roth was masterful throughout the evening as he limited the Tigers to just one double and a pair of singles. Roth, making only his third start of his career, went the distance and allowed just one run while striking out four batters and walking just one.

South Carolina defeats Oklahoma 3-2

June 24 - A pair of two-out RBI singles by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brady Thomas erased a one-run deficit as South Carolina rallied for a dramatic 3-2 win over Oklahoma in 12 innings on Thursday evening at the 2010 College World Series. The Gamecocks advance to face Clemson on Friday night with first pitch scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

It was a dramatic night at Rosenblatt Stadium with both teams battling back and forth with the result in question until the final play. After Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 12th on a solo home run by Tyler Ogle, the Gamecocks made their move as Robert Beary singled to open the frame and give the Gamecocks the tying run on the base paths. With two outs and Beary on second base in scoring position, Bradley battled Oklahoma closer Ryan Duke to a full count before lacing a RBI single past Oklahoma's diving first baseman Cameron Seitzer to score Beary and tie the game. Jeffery Jones then walked moving Bradley into scoring position setting the stage for Thomas, who roped the first pitch he saw from Duke up the middle for a RBI single to win the game and setting off a celebration among the Gamecock players on the field.

South Carolina defeats Arizona State 11-4

June 22 - South Carolina pounded out eight runs on eight hits in the bottom of the second inning and starting pitcher Sam Dyson had a quality start with 7.1 innings of work as the Gamecocks defeated Arizona State 11-4 on Tuesday afternoon in an elimination game at the College World Series. South Carolina is now 49-16 while the No. 1 National seed Arizona State ends its season with a 52-10 record. Carolina will face the loser of tonight's Arizona State-Clemson game on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET in an elimination game that will be televised live on ESPN2HD.

Jackie Bradley Jr., Whit Merrifield and Adrian Morales all had home runs for the Gamecocks spearheading a 14-hit attack. Bradley finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI. That four RBI ties his career-high; it is the seventh time he has reached the mark. Merrifield finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Both Evan Marzilli and Adrian Morales each tallied two hits as well. All nine position starters reached base at least once with eight of nine tallying at least one hit.

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