South Carolina Wins College World Series, First Major Sport National Championship

The tying run. And then one more.

If this is a bit different than your usual national championship wrap-up here at Team Speed Kills, it's because this is a different championship.

Because winning championships is perhaps not this big a deal at Alabama or Florida or LSU. That's not to say it's not special for those fan bases. But South Carolina is not used to winning a major sport championship -- in anything. Not football. Not men's or women's basketball.

But baseball has always been one of the few sports the Gamcocks consistently excel at. And now it is the only major sport in which South Carolina can be called the national champions.

The game was much as we expected the series would go: A pitchers' duel, tied 1-1 in the 11th when Whit Merrifield singled home the winning run of the game and the set against UCLA. A team that had lived on the edge all season long did it one more time, and came out on top yet again. South Carolina lost the first game in Omaha and never lost again despite being down to its last strike against Oklahoma; why would they make it easy this time?

The heroes list is a long one: Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Roth, Matt Price, Blake Cooper are among the names that join Merrifield at the top of that list, but almost everyone on the team contributed in some way to the victory. That's always going to happen with a national championship team, of course; that's how you win the biggest prize in your sport.

I've got to be honest with you: I can see now why this moment is so special for so many of us, and I could get used to this. Even as a fan, it is a feeling like few others. I can only picture what a player must feel like after a season where they achieved their top goal and carry home a trophy.

Just another national title for the SEC. But so much more for South Carolina.

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