Before the 2010 College World Series, Michael Roth was a bit player for the South Carolina baseball team. He was a situational lefty out of the Gamecock bullpen, and occasional pinch-hitter with batting practice power who rarely, if ever, delivered.
When Ray Tanner announced Roth would start against Clemson in the 2010 CWS I thought he had lost it. I think maybe even Tanner thought Tanner had lost it. He wanted three solid innings. Then four. Then five. Then six. When Roth continued into the seventh we knew something special was happening. And we know how the 2010 story ended.
One year later Michael Roth is a Gamecock legend. And I don’t use that word lightly. What Roth has done from June 2010 to June 2011 is bona fide legendary. From mid-inning bullpen specialist to All-American is simply not believable if we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes.
The reason I bring this up now is because of the territory Roth crossed into on Sunday night. He gave up four runs (three of which came on a bases-loaded triple) but all the runs were unearned. He has not given up an earned run since May 13. And his ERA dropped below one to 0.97.
That is insane. A good ERA…check that…a GREAT ERA for a starting pitcher in college baseball with 100-plus innings to his credit is 2.50. Below two is nuts. An ERA around 1.50 is reserved for closers who throw a lot fewer innings.
But 0.97? Again, insane.
- So, Devonte Holloman was arrested Saturday night for DUI. Holloman was immediately suspended from the team and the message board debates began to rage ranging from “DUI is unforgivable, kick him off the team” to “it’s his first offense and he’s a good kid”, without much in between. Look, driving under the influence is a dangerous, stupid thing to do, no doubt. Holloman deserves punishment, and it should be relatively severe. He should not, however, be kicked off the team. I expect a long, hot summer of step climbing for Holloman, and a one to two-game suspension to start the season.
- Phil Kornblut tweeted this afternoon “What does it take to get permanently kicked off the USC football team?” Instead of asking the twitterverse, he should probably track down some guys with first-hand knowledge like Demetris Summers, Kerry Bonds, Dakota Walker, Quintin Richardson, Moe Thompson, K.T. Mainord or Weslye Saunders. Short memories some folks have.
- Speaking of getting kicked off the team, apparently Victor Hampton said or did the right things to Coach Spurrier to get reinstated. Good for him. I hope he keeps clean and has a positive impact on the football team. But chalk him up as another guy with zero chances left.
- I heard Mark Schlabach on the radio this morning here in Atlanta, and he said he “gets” why some people are picking Georgia to win the East this year. But he also said he got it a lot more before they lost their starting left and right tackles to injury. He wrapped up by saying he wouldn’t bet too much on a team relying heavily on the contributions of a true freshman running back and a junior college nose tackle. Finally, some sense?
Ah, well, while we’re waiting for football season, how about let’s win another baseball title to pass the time.