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CWS 2010 Recap: Games #11, 12, 13, 14

TCU 6, UCLA 2

UCLA 10, TCU 3

Purple has been the color of choice for a fair share of College World Series patrons this past week, what with Clemson and TCU in town. And the Horned Frogs are arguably the sweethearts of this year’s CWS, bringing loads of fans from North Texas and supplying some of the most dramatic moments of the tournament.

Freshman left-hander Matt Purke helped continue a successful run for the Frogs, as he powered the purple-clad fan favorites to a 6-2 win on Friday over UCLA to force an elimination game Saturday. Purke moved to 16-0 on the season, the best record in the nation. The Bruins had a hard time solving Purke, and by the time UCLA put some runs on the board the TCU offense had staked the freshman phenom to a 3-0 lead. The Frogs shut the door on any UCLA comeback thoughts with home runs in the 7th and 8th innings.

But TCU’s win on Friday just delayed the Bruins’ celebration. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer threw another gem for UCLA Saturday afternoon, leading the Bruins past the Frogs 10-3. On what was a hot, long afternoon for TCU, the Frogs only led after the first half of the 1st inning. TCU posted a run in their half of the first frame, but the Bruins bounced back with a 5-spot in their half. TCU starter Kyle Winkler failed to record an out, and the Frogs cycled threw a handful of pitchers while Bauer controlled things from the Bruins mound all afternoon.

South Carolina 5, Clemson 1

South Carolina 4, Clemson 3

The Gamecocks and Tigers logged another chapter in their fierce in-state rivalry in Omaha this week. In the end, South Carolina did in 2010 what it accomplished in 2002: beat Clemson twice at the end of the CWS to earn a shot in the national title game.

First, on Friday, Michael Roth pitched a gem for the Gamecocks, throwing the first complete game in the CWS since 2006 en route to a 5-1 win against the Tigers. Roth’s complete game 3-hitter came in unlikely fashion; he hadn’t started a game since April 2009 and hadn’t thrown more than 3.1 innings in any game this season.

The win Friday paved the way for the Gamecocks to eliminate Clemson Saturday and secure a spot in the best-of-three national championship series Monday. Again, South Carolina won behind solid pitching, with starter Sam Dyson and reliever Matt Price taming the Tigers while also keeping the rest of the Gamecocks bullpen rested. Those two pitchers got just enough offense from Christian Walker, Whit Merrifield, and Jackie Bradley Jr., leading South Carolina to its first chance at a national title since 2002.

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