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2012 College World Series: Arkansas, South Carolina in Control After First SEC Games

Michael Roth pitching. The Gamecocks winning a game in Omaha. What's new?
Michael Roth pitching. The Gamecocks winning a game in Omaha. What's new?

South Carolina 7, Florida 3
Arkansas 8, Kent State 1

The down side of having all the SEC teams in the same bracket at Omaha is that we will not see a repeat of last year's all-SEC championship series. The up side is that the conference is one win away from ensuring that it will have a representative in that series for the fifth straight season.

For now, Arkansas and South Carolina are in the driver's seat in the bracket, both of them winning their first games in Omaha.

South Carolina failed to capitalize on a series of jams in the first several innings of their showdown with Florida before dropping a five-spot in the top of the fifth to go up 5-2. Florida would score a run in the bottom of the inning but would never catch up. Michael Roth gutted out the win, giving up seven hits and three earned runs in 6.1 innings.

The Razorbacks' win was decidedly more lopsided. Arkansas pounded out ten hits and also capitalized on seven walks to make quick work of one of the World Series' two Cinderellas. DJ Baxendale and Brandon Moore combined to throw a four-hitter against the Golden Flashes; they issued just one walk.

That sets up an elimination game between Florida and Kent State. If the Gators win that one, it will ensure that one SEC team will be headed to the championship series. What a fight that should be.