OMAHA, Neb. — South Carolina provided a perfect send-off for Rosenblatt Stadium.
Almost two weeks ago, Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner was soaking up the atmosphere during the opening ceremonies for the College World Series when he let his mind drift.
“It dawned on me, it would be wonderful to go deep into this thing and be around at the end,” Tanner said. “I know the new stadium will be very special and a great facility.
“But this is history. And we’ll be a part of the College World Series and Rosenblatt for a long, long time.”
They sure will, after Whit Merrifield’s RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning gave South Carolina its first baseball national championship with a 2-1 victory over UCLA in the College World Series on Tuesday night.
Before the College World Series left Rosenblatt Stadium for good, the baseball gods scripted a fitting end before the curtain fell on a place that somehow became the mecca for aluminum bats and the NCAA’s double-elimination tournament. Story The Gamecocks (54-16) won six straight games after losing their CWS opener against Oklahoma. They became the third first-time champion since 2006 after sweeping the best-of-three series.
Each team had plenty of scoring chances, but had difficulty converting in Rosenblatt’s finale before the event moves to a new downtown stadium next year. A video tribute to the stadium, fireworks and a trumpeter playing a slow version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” finished Rosenblatt’s 61-year run as the CWS home.