Gamecocks oust Kent St. on Roth's 2-hitter in CWS

Associated Press Modified: June 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm •  Published: June 21, 2012
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The second was the only inning in which Roth allowed a man on base. After Polen's single, he got Nick Hamilton to hit into a double play.

"Roth was very special today. He has been many, many times," Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner said. "Last night I told him we need you to stay out there for a long time. He picked a great time to give us a complete game and gave us a chance to rest the bullpen."

The game lasted just 2 hours, 7 minutes, making it the shortest at the CWS since 2003 when Rice and Missouri State played in 2:02.

Kent State had entered the game having won each of Skulina's last 12 starts. Skulina (11-3) left with two out in the sixth after allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out nine.

Roth earned his second win of the CWS. He pitched 6 1-3 innings in a 7-3 victory over the Seminoles on Saturday.

In 11 career NCAA tournament starts, Roth is 8-0, pitching at least five innings each time and never allowing more than three earned runs.

"I talked to coach Tanner before the game, and Roth was campaigning to pitch last night," Stricklin said. "He said after the game was cancelled that Roth came up to him and said you can't hold me out now. He wanted to be on the mound. I don't blame coach Tanner one bit. When your senior says give me the ball, you've got to give it to him."

Kent State shut down South Carolina's offense after Dantzler hit his 10th homer of the year in the third. Skulina, Casey Wilson and Brian Clark held the Gamecocks to one hit the rest of the way.

South Carolina will become the first team since Georgia in 1987 to play all or part of two games in the same day at the CWS. The last team to play two full games on the same day was Michigan, on June 2, 1980.

Roth needs the Gamecocks to get to the finals to get one more start at the CWS.

"Before the game you think this could potentially be my last game or my last start ever," he said. "But while you're getting ready to pitch, you're focusing on that game and where your pitches are going and how you're feeling. ... You just try to hope that role continues, and I was able to do that today."