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South Carolina Baseball Wins 2011 CWS Championship, Setting Up Surprise Dynasty

The South Carolina Gamecocks are the 2011 NCAA baseball national champions. Whoa. This is even more astounding than USC being named the 2010 College World Series champs. We're talking about an athletic department that, 364 days ago, had never won a major national title, yet has now established two years worth of dominion over summer's premier college sport.

And done it by knocking off the Florida Gators, the longtime lords of SEC East football -- and usually assorted other sports as well. Just months after Steve Spurrier pulled off USC's first-ever win in the Swamp, Carolina has gone through its biggest traditional obstacle to become the fifth program to ever post consecutive baseball titles.

You're crazy if you think there's any school Cocks fans would've rather beaten, short of Clemson.

Peter Mooney began a three-run third inning and slapped a home run in the sixth, while Michael Roth hurled seven and two-thirds innings of two-run ball. Matt Price came on to close, killing an eighth inning rally and giving Carolina the 5-2 victory and the sweep.

The most Cardiac Cock of all, Scott Wingo, was named the 2011 CWS Most Outstanding Player.

The SEC now has now posted three straight national championships, plus contributed the 2008 runner-up. The SEC East provided the 2011 CWS' top three teams. The conference isn't known for excelling at much beyond football, but it could be argued baseball is the SEC's No. 2 priority, and not basketball -- this is Atlanta Braves country, after all. And maybe this really isn't all that surprising when you think about it.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.