It's not every year that the College World Series final round features a matchup of two teams who have already posted a season series against each other. The Florida Gators and South Carolina Gamecocks, however, are SEC East rivals (we're just gonna keep saying it!), and thus have thrice played baseball this season. How'd that go?
The Cocks took the Gainesville series, two games to one, and won the run differential 14-7. That sounds sort of like a SEC East football score, but don't be fooled -- something more WTF like 12-5 is more of a football score than a baseball score around here.
Carolina held Florida to just a single home run during those three games. The Gators averaged right around one round-tripper per game on the year -- if USC can hold them well below that figure this week, which might not be all that hard in the pitcher-friendly TD Ameritrade Park, they'll have a leg up on the championship series. Small ball has been key throughout the CWS, all the way up to Carolina clinching a finals appearance thanks to a mishandled bunt.
Sophomore righty Hutson Randall (2.24 ERA) will get the start for Florida against freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas (3.07 ERA). The two have faced off once this season, in Florida's lone win -- Koumas pitched six solid innings, other than beaning three Gators.
The 2011 CWS final schedule (all times pm ET):
Game 1, Mon. at 8, ESPN
Game 2, Tues. at 8, ESPN
Game 3 (if necessary), Wed. at 8, ESPN
Check here for complete 2011 CWS scores and schedules, and here for NCAA baseball news and stories. For more SEC sports, join Team Speed Kills. Gators fans, head to Alligator Army and SB Nation Tampa Bay; USC fans, visit Garnet And Black Attack.