- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2011

OMAHA, NEB. (AP) - David Roth wasn’t about to miss seeing his son pitch for South Carolina in the College World Series. He went to extreme lengths to do it.

Roth quit his job as a car salesman in Greer, S.C.

Roth was in Omaha last year when the Gamecocks won the national title, but his job kept him from watching Michael Roth pitch. No way that was going to happen this year.

“They were like, ‘You know, you don’t have any vacation days,’ ” Michael said Monday. “He said, ‘I’ve got to go out there to Omaha,’ so he just quit.”

David Roth was in the stands Sunday, soaking up Michael’s 7 1-3 innings of work against Texas A&M. All four runs he allowed were unearned.

The 5-4 win thrilled the Gamecocks fans, but for Michael it was extra meaningful.

“Obviously, it was pretty special considering it was Father’s Day yesterday,” he said Monday. “I’m glad that he’s here. It’s been pretty cool having my family here.”

Michael didn’t know his dad had sacrificed his job for the College World Series until he had dinner with his family on Saturday.

“My mom mentioned something after super regionals,” he said. “She was like, ‘I think dad’s going to come.’ I said, ‘Really? He’s going to get off work?’

“She was like, ‘He’s either going to get off work or he’s going to quit.’ “

On Saturday Roth tweeted: “How’s this for dedication? My dad had to quit his job to make it out to Omaha.”

The junior left-hander said it was disappointing that his dad couldn’t see his two quality starts a year ago.

Michael Roth (13-3), a 31st-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, became one of the nation’s premier starting pitchers after working as a reliever most of last season. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 37 1-3 innings since May 13. His season ERA is 0.97.

The Gamecocks play Virginia in a Bracket 2 winners’ game Tuesday.

“My main role tomorrow will be cheering,” he said. “We’ll be doing plenty of that. We’ll be fired up and ready to go.”

Having his dad here for as long as the Gamecocks stay alive makes this CWS an even bigger thrill.

“My dad’s been a huge inspiration for baseball for me,” he said. “It’s definitely nice to have him out here.”

Is he worried about his dad getting another job?

“No, he’ll be OK,” Michael said. “Gamecock Nation will help us out.”


WATCHING FROM AFAR: South Carolina’s Robert Beary had a special fan monitoring Sunday night’s thrilling 5-4 win over Texas A&M _ his father, Kevin, now stationed in Afghanistan.

Kevin Beary, a Florida county sheriff the past 16 years, is in his second tour of police duty in Afghanistan. With the Taliban and other government enemies still a threat, the work is perilous.

“There’s danger all over,” Robert said. “They lose guys all the time. And it’s not always gun fire. It’s suicide bombings. He’s been taught to keep his head down.”

Robert Beary was able to speak to his dad by e-mail and phone earlier Sunday.

“He told me about six to eight guys were going to stay up,” Robert said. “Because of the time difference it was about 3 o’clock in the morning there.”

Beary was a central figure in the dramatic 5-4 victory over the Aggies, especially in the bottom of the ninth when he led off the winning rally by hitting a 1-2 pitch to deep right for a double.


CHILDRESS BACK HOME: While TD Amertrade Park is the new venue for the CWS, the experience isn’t for Texas A&M coach Rob Childress. He was the Nebraska pitching coach when the Cornhuskers made three appearances in 2001-02 and 2005.

The Huskers won only one of seven games at the CWS those years.

His first CWS appearance as a head coach didn’t start well, as South Carolina used a walkoff single to beat the Aggies 5-4 Sunday.

Childress said his team will be ready for its elimination game against California on Tuesday.

The Aggies were the only CWS qualifier to win a super regional on the road, coming back from a 23-9 loss at Florida State to defeat the Seminoles 11-2 in the deciding game.

“I think what we’ve been through for the last month has really helped our team, helped us grow and helped us get closer together,” Childress said. “Our guys will be ready to play come Tuesday, I can tell you that.”

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