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On Tap: Arizona vs. South Carolina, Game 15

On Tap: Arizona vs. South Carolina, Game 15

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A capsulized look at Game 15 of the College World Series and Game 2 of the championship series, set for a 7 p.m. start on Monday.

* * *

SOUTH CAROLINA (49-19)

>> Pitcher: LH Michael Roth (9-1, 2.49 ERA)

>> Who’s hot in Omaha: 1B Christian Walker (.369, 0 HRs, 1 RBI), CF Evan Marzilli (.285, 0 HRs, 2 RBIs), 2B Chase Vergason (.277, 0 HR, 3 RBIs)

>> Who’s not: RF Adam Matthews (.191, 0 HRs, 1 RBI), SS Joey Pankake (.120, 0 HRs, 1 RBI), C Grayson Greiner (.118, 0 HRs, 1 RBI)

>> How the Gamecocks got here: After surviving three elimination games to earn the Bracket Two spot in the finals, South Carolina couldn’t solve Arizona right-hander Konner Wade in dropping a 5-1 decision in the first game of the finals.

>> Trends: The Gamecocks are struggling on offense in Omaha, hitting .222 for their six CWS games. After opening the CWS with a 12-hit performance against Florida, South Carolina has gotten four, seven, eight, five and six hits and scored 11 runs in the five games. The Gamecocks need to get more productive to take some of the pressure off their pitchers.

>> South Carolina will win if: Roth is Roth. The senior left-hander has established himself as one of the top pitchers in CWS history. Two of his four wins in Omaha have come in complete-game efforts in elimination games. The Gamecocks need their leader to come up big in order to keep alive their hopes of winning three straight titles.

ARIZONA (47-17)

>> Pitcher: RH Kurt Heyer (13-2, 2.24 ERA) or RH James Farris (7-3, 4.18 ERA)

>> Who’s hot in Omaha: C Riley Moore (.500, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs), RF Robert Refsnyder (.444, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs), CF Joey Rickard (.333, 0 HRs, 2 RBIs)

>> Who’s not: 1B Joseph Maggi (.200, 0 HRs, 1 RBI), 2B Trent Gilbert (.077, 0 HRs, 2 RBIs)

>> How the Wildcats got here: Arizona’s win in the opening game of the finals hiked its winning streak in the NCAA tournament to nine. The Wildcats have outscored their Omaha opponents 23-7.

>> Trends: Arizona goes into what could be the final game of the 2012 season having won 17 of its past 19 games. Four of the five runs the Wildcats scored in Sunday’s win over South Carolina came with two outs. In the past 19 games, Arizona has outscored its opponents 45-12 after two outs were recorded in an inning.

>> Arizona will win if: The Wildcats are hitting .367 in nine NCAA tournament games and .297 in four games in Omaha. Roth must find a way to slow down Arizona’s productive offense to keep from putting his team in a game of catch-up.

— Steven Pivovar

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