NOTEBOOK: Wingo earns MOP

OMAHA, Neb. -- When it became tournament time, South Carolina just always found a way to win. The Gamecocks went undefeated in the NCAA Tournament on the way to a second straight national title. Look inside for news and notes on that run.

There were no shortage of heroes in South Carolina's second run to a national title. But no one stepped up more times and better represented what this baseball team stood for than Scott Wingo.

The 2011 CWS Most Outstanding Player not only played stellar defense all tournament long but came up with big hit after big hit.

"He's been a key ingredient to the success we've had between the lines," South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner said. "He loves to play. He has a good time doing it."

Wingo's play throughout his senior season was consistent. But it was the big plays in College World Series that made him MOP.

He drove in the winning run in a 5-4 walk-off victory over Texas A&M. He was a part of multiple double plays in the 13-inning Virginia win.

He not only drove in the tying run in the eighth inning of game one of the championship series. But he also made an improbable diving stop and throw home to save the game in the ninth. And then was the catalyst of a 4-2-3 double play to end that same inning.

And there was Wingo, turning double plays and driving in two runs in the clincher Tuesday night.

"You've got to feel good for a guy like Wingo," last year's MOP Jackie Bradley, Jr. said. "He's really been the heart and soul of our team this year."

Wingo hit .333 (6-for-18) with four RBI and a .480 on-base percentage.

Mooney steps up

Shortstop Peter Mooney didn't produce as many game-saving moments as his middle-infield mate Wingo. But he did team with Wingo on multiple double plays.

Mooney saved the best for last.

In Tuesday's game two he went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double to jump-start the third inning and a solo home run that padded the Gamecocks' lead in the sixth.

Mooney scored two of the Gamecocks' five runs and also played perfect defense.

Mooney made the CWS All-Tournament team as well.

"It would have been very hard to be where we are now without the play of Peter Mooney at shortstop," Tanner said.

Missing ball part two?

Matt Price fired a fastball over the plate and Ben McMahan swung and flied it to the outfield.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. strolled over to his right from his spot in center field and casually caught the ball.

That's when Bradley did the unthinkable.

In the midst of the celebration that was beginning on the pitcher's mound, Bradley spun and sidearmed the ball into the stands and took off towards the infield.

Lost championship baseball. Sound familiar? The Gamecocks still haven't received the ball they scored the winning run of last year's championship with. UCLA right fielder Brett Krill was thought to still have it for some time. But now he says he gave it to a friend.

At least this year's ball is only missing because of an innocent act from one of South Carolina's all-time greats.

"I was just telling my players and the coaches, I should definitely be on (Sportscenter's) Not Top 10," Bradley said. "I was in the moment and I just lost it."

Nothing bad to say

With the countless number of people who have contributed to the Gamecocks' success this season, it's hard to single anybody out.

But it's also hard to argue that the Gamecocks would still be anywhere near champions with ace pitcher Michael Roth and closer Matt Price.

"I can't imagine another pitcher in college baseball or maybe professional baseball, from that point, being in as many tough situations throughout the course of two seasons that we put Matt Price into," Tanner said. "I mean, very rarely did he get an opportunity to go have a little work. He was in there when the chips are down. And it's been phenomenal, the success that those guys have enjoyed.

"Michael was starting out in the bullpen and then becoming a starter. It's just like they've been almost unblemished.

"It's hard for me ask me to bring up some days where they didn't do very well, I'd have to think long and hard because it seems like every time the chips have been down, they've been able to perform."

All-Tournament Team

Catcher - Robert Beary, South Carolina
First Base - Christian Walker, South Carolina
Second Base - Scott Wingo, South Carolina
Third Base - Cody Dent, Florida
Shortstop - Peter Mooney, South Carolina
Outfield - Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
Outfield - Connor Harrell, Vanderbilt
Outfield - Bryson Smith, Florida
Designated Hitter - Brady Thomas, South Carolina
Pitcher - Michael Roth, South Carolina
Pitcher - Matt Price, South Carolina

Most Outstanding Player - Scott Wingo

Extra Bases...

South Carolina is now the 14th program to win multiple national titles. ... South Carolina becomes only the ninth repeat champion in CWS history and first since Oregon State in 2006 and 2007. The Gamecocks are one of only six programs to repeat as national champions, joining Texas (1949-50); Southern California (1970-71-72-73-74), Stanford (1987-88), LSU (1996-97) and Oregon State (2006-07). ... South Carolina won its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament game tonight, breaking the all-time record of 15 shared with Texas in 1983 and 1984. ... With the win, South Carolina has won its last 11 CWS games dating back to last season. The Gamecocks break the mark of 10 consecutive CWS wins they have shared with both Southern California (1972-74) and LSU (1996-98). South Carolina's last NCAA Tournament loss was a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma on June 20, 2010 in the opening round of the 2010 CWS. ... South Carolina finished 10-0 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament (3-0 in Regional, 2-0 in Super Regional, 5-0 in CWS) becoming the first team to go unbeaten at 10-0 in NCAA Tournament play in one season. Miami (2001 and 1999) and LSU (2000) were the only other teams to go unbeaten (all 9-0) since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999. ... South Carolina becomes the third team to sweep through the CWS and CWS Championship Finals since the best-of-3 CWS Championship Finals began in 2003, joining Texas (2005) and Oregon State (2007). ...

It is the ninth CWS title for the Southeastern Conference, a total which ranks second to the Pac-10's 15 titles. The SEC has won the last three CWS titles. ... Michael Roth is the second pitcher to start two decisive games of the CWS Championship Finals and the first since Mike Stutes of Oregon State in 2006 and 2007. ... South Carolina picked up its 55th win of the season, which ranks second nationally (Vanderbilt with 56) and third on the school's single-season chart. Only the 2002 (57) and 2000 (56) teams won more games than the 2011 Gamecocks. ... South Carolina finished a team ERA of 0.88 in five CWS games, the fourth-lowest team ERA in CWS history and the lowest since 1972 (Arizona State, 0.68). Only five teams have ever finished the MCWS with a team ERA under 1.00. South Carolina's team ERA is the lowest by a CWS Champion since California in 1957 (0.60). ... South Carolina's bullpen finished 4-0 record and a 0.00 ERA in 19.0 innings of work in Omaha and did not allow an extra-base hit. ...

Michael Roth allowed two runs in 7.2 innings of work against Florida on Tuesday, matching his highest earned-run total of the season (20 starts). Roth now ranks on South Carolina's single-season charts in ERA (2nd, 1.06), starts (t1st, 20), Innings (3rd, 145) and wins (t-5th, 14) Roth's 14 wins ties for the national lead while his ERA is second nationally. ... Michael Roth has pitched 7.0 or more innings in all five NCAA Tournament starts and in 14 of his 20 starts this season. ... Michael Roth has now pitched 38.1 career innings in the CWS, posting a 1.17 ERA. That is second only to Ohio State's Steve Arlin, who had a 0.96 ERA in 47 innings of work in the 1965 and 1966 CWS. Only four pitchers have had an ERA of under 1.50 while working at least 30 career innings in the CWS. ... Michael Roth matched a CWS record with his third start of the series. The last person to make three CWS starts in one year was Blake Cooper of South Carolina last year. Roth has now made five CWS starts in his career, which ties for fourth all-time. He is the first pitcher to make at least five CWS starts since J.D. Arteaga made a record seven CWS starts from 1994 to 1997. ... As a team, South Carolina finished with a 1.31 ERA in 10 NCAA Tournament games. The Gamecocks' bullpen finished 6-0 with five saves and a 0.53 ERA in 33.2 innings of work in the NCAAs and did not allow an extra-base hit the entire tournament. ...

Matt Price picked up his 20th save of the season tonight, moving into sole possession of the national lead in that category. Price's 20 saves this season ties for second on South Carolina's single-season list. ... John Taylor made his 50th appearance of the season for South Carolina. He has appeared in the Gamecocks' last 12 games (dating back to May 26), including all 10 of South Carolina's NCAA Tournament contests. His 50 appearances is second on the NCAA's single-season list, as Connor Falkenbach (Florida, 2005) holds the record with 51 appearances. Taylor's 78 appearances in his career ranks seventh on South Carolina career charts. ... CWS Most Outstanding Player Scott Wingo drove in a pair of runs, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. He drove in three RBI during the CWS Championship Finals. Wingo hit .333 (6-for-18) with four RBI and a .480 on-base percentage. ... Wingo was hit by five pitches in the CWS, matching the CWS series record originally set by Aaron Luna of Rice in 2006. Wingo has been hit by six pitches in his CWS career, tying for second on the CWS all-time career list. Ryan Garko of Stanford holds the all-time career record with 8 HBP. ... Scott Wingo has now been hit by 63 pitches in his career, extending his own school mark. He has been hit by a team-high 17 pitches this season. Wingo has now reached base safely in his last 23 contests. Wingo has now appeared in 254 career games, one shy of South Carolina's school record (255, Michael Campbell, 2003-06) ...

Christian Walker went 2-for-4 for his third multi-hit game of the CWS and team-high 28th multi-hit game of the season. Walker also extended his hit streak to nine games. ... Brady Thomas went 2-for-4 tonight and led South Carolina with a .364 average (8-for-22) in Omaha. ... It was Peter Mooney's fourth home run of the season and first since May 10th vs. Presbyterian. It was also the first CWS homer by South Carolina. The last CWS where the national champion did not homer was in 1966 (Ohio State). ... John Taylor made his 50th appearance of the season for South Carolina. He has appeared in the Gamecocks' last 12 games (dating back to May 26), including all 10 of South Carolina's NCAA Tournament contests. His 50 appearances is second on the NCAA's single-season list, as Connor Falkenbach (Florida, 2005) holds the record with 51 appearances. Taylor's 78 appearances in his career are seventh on South Carolina career charts. ... South Carolina's .263 batting average in Omaha is the lowest batting average by a champion since Cal State Fullerton hit .244 in 2004.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories