14 years ago today, South Carolina baseball won its first National Championship; What the world looked like in 2010

South Carolina baseball won their first-ever National Championship 14 years ago in 2010. The world has changed a lot since then.
Former South Carolina baseball head coach Ray Tanner and his 2010 National Champions
Former South Carolina baseball head coach Ray Tanner and his 2010 National Champions / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

June 29th. The day lives in South Carolina baseball lore as the day the Gamecocks won it all for the first time back in 2010. It has been fourteen years since then, but the USC faithful remember it like it was yesterday.

Scott Wingo drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning in the second game of the National Championship Series against the UCLA Bruins (Carolina already had won game 1). Then, a past ball and an Evan Marzilli bunt pushed Wingo to third base with just one out.

Then, magic.

On a 2-0 pitch to Whit Merrifield, the unmistakable *ping* of an aluminum bat making solid contact with a baseball was heard, followed by Mike Patrick's famous call: "Line drive, right field! Base hit! South Carolina wins the College World Series!" You can watch the moment below.

A lot has changed in the world in the last 14 years. A few of the differences between then and now are listed below:

  • The College World Series moved from Rosenblatt Stadium after the 2010 USC title run. In fact, the Gamecocks were the final team to win a title in the legendary stadium. They went on to be the first to win at the new Omaha venue, as well, bringing home the 2011 College World Series title at TD Ameritrade Park (now known as Charles Schwab Field).
  • The average price of gas in the Palmetto State has gone up by over $0.50, and the median sales price of a new home in the state has more than doubled since 2010.
  • Legendary coach Ray Tanner has moved on from the top steps of the dugout to the athletic director's office. He is still the AD for the South Carolina Gamecocks.
  • At the time of the Gamecocks' title win, the iPhone 4 had just been released earlier in the week.
  • In college football, the Gamecocks had just finished a 7-6 season in the 2009 campaign but were about to start their best run ever. An SEC East title and three 11-2 seasons in a row would follow under the legendary Steve Spurrier. At that point, rivals Clemson and Georgia were still championship-less since the early 1980s.
  • In the NFL, Tom Brady had just three Super Bowl rings heading into the 2010 season. He would go on to win seven. The current top quarterback in the sport, Patrick Mahomes, hadn't even made it to high school yet.
  • In the NBA, LeBron James had not yet won a championship in 2010 and was less than two weeks away from "The Decision." Steph Curry had played just one year.
  • In Major League Baseball, players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout still had not made their debuts in 2010. Both are now virtual locks for the Hall of Fame. The New York Yankees were the defending World Series champs, but they haven't won a title since.
  • The South Carolina Gamecocks athletic department went from having just two varsity team National Championships (women's track and field in 2002 and baseball in 2010) to securing four more (baseball in 2011 and women's basketball in 2016-2017, 2021-2022, and 2023-2024).
  • College baseball was almost never on television outside of the College World Series and other select local postseason games back then. It is much more available now, especially in the SEC. The SEC Network did not exist in 2010 but broadcasts about ten SEC contests each week during the season.
  • The Gamecocks are on their third new baseball coach since Merrifield's hit. After Tanner's move to AD, National Championship-winning assistant Chad Holbrook took over for five seasons before being dismissed, and his replacement, Mark Kingston, lasted seven years before being ousted for poor performance. New head coach Paul Mainieri hopes to bring the South Carolina baseball program back to glory.
  • The players on the current South Carolina baseball team were in elementary school.

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