After a two-year run South Carolina ended its College World Series streak on Monday night when Arizona claimed a 4-1 victory.
The victory was especially pleasing for Arizona coach Andy Lopez who took over the team 11 years ago and turned the program into a national contender. Arizona had not won a national championship since 1986.
The core of the team was built around a strong recruiting class that was assembled two years ago.
As his key players stood beside him Lopez said of his teams victory:
“They’ve just been a joy. I mean, how many times have I told you I love suiting up with you guys? Said it today before the game. And I really do, I like suiting up with young guys that go to class, go to study hall, hustle on the field, clean up the clubhouse on their own.
“I’m extremely, extremely fortunate to be in this profession and work with young people like this.”
To claim their national championship Arizona relied on two nights of strong pitching to sweep the CWS final. James Farris and Mathew Troupe combined to allow only three hits a night after Konner Wade threw his third straight complete game in a 5-1 win.
Showing support for his coach CWS Most Outstanding Player Robert Refsnyder said after the game:
“Coach Lopez means the world to us, and we’re so happy we brought joy back to his life in coaching.”
“You could tell that he was fed up with baseball and trying to teach young people to go to class and study hall and take care of your business off the field. You could see his frustration. But Lopez gave us, gave myself and the junior class this year, the tools to be successful.”
11 years is a long-time in the making but given Andy Lopez’s dedication to the team its likely they’ll come back even stronger next season.