2011 College World Series Championship Odds and Predictions: South Carolina vs. Florida Free Picks and Preview: It will be an all-SEC final as the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Florida Gators square off in the 2011 College World Series title series. As far as matchups go, it doesn’t get much juicier than conference rivals going at it in a best-of-three format with the championship hanging in the balance. Led by the top offense in the nation, the Gators will be looking for their first CWS crown. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks will be looking to defend their title from a year ago and repeat as champs. Whichever team wins, the SEC will have claimed the last three College World Series titles.
Both clubs roll into this matchup undefeated in the 2011 College World Series, and the Gamecocks are riding an impressive 14-game winning streak in the postseason. The Gators have powered their way past their opponents with timely hitting and dominating pitching, and a clutch two-run single in the bottom of the eighth against SEC rival Vanderbilt but Florida in the title game. South Carolina needed some late inning heroics to knock off Virginia in 14 innings to advance to the final. During the marathon game, Gamecocks relievers worked out of bases loaded jams three separate times.
South Carolina took two out of three regular season contests from the Gators, but Florida won the SEC tournament at the end of the year. Playing in the same conference year after year, there won’t be many secrets between these two clubs as they prepare to become the first teams from the same conference to play for the title since 1998. It is going to be a matter of which team executes better and which team comes up with the clutch hits.
During the regular season, it was all about the long ball for the Gators. Florida slugged an NCAA-leading 67 homers and posted a team batting average of .311. However, the Gamecocks actually own the best batting average during CWS play, while the Gators have managed just a single home run. If the Florida bats stay quiet, the scale has to tip in favor of the defending champs who have had more than their of clutch hits during their two-year run.
Despite the power outage, Florida has managed to cruise to the finals thanks to strong starting pitching. The Gators have a team ERA of 2.00 and Florida pitchers have walked just two batters. While those numbers are impressive, the Gamecocks have actually been even better, posting a 0.58 ERA in 31 innings at the CWS and giving up just two earned runs. Closer Matt Price has been a big part of that success, but he may not be available in the opening game of the series. He threw 90 pitches in the semifinal victory against Virginia.
While the potential absence of Price could hurt South Carolina in a close game, this current group of Gamecocks have proven time-and-time again they can win when the pressure is on. Meanwhile, the Gators potent offense has been sputtering when it matters most. Florida hasn’t had a problem to this point, but South Carolina has the pitching to matchup with whoever the Gators send to the mound. It won’t be easy for either team, and no team has been better in close games than the Gamecocks. Look for South Carolina to work its magic a couple of more times and repeat as champs.
College World Series Free Picks and Prediction: South Carolina Gamecocks Win in 3 Games
Odds to win the 2011 College World Series from BoDog Sportsbook
South Carolina +100
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