It’s Never Over

By Tyler Tompson- 


One of the most memorable College World Series games took place all the way back in the 1973 semi-final game – The University of Southern California Trojans (USC) vs. The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. USC was looking to build onto their dynasty behind head coach, Rod Dedeaux, winning the previous 3 College World Series’, and 4 of the last 5. Minnesota was starting Dave Winfield, an incredible multi-threat athlete who would later be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2001.


Winfield threw a shutout with 14 K’s against Oklahoma a few days earlier and was looking to build off of that incredible performance. After 8 innings of play, Minnesota was on top of USC, 7-0, and Winfield amounted 15 K’s with only 1 hit (an infield single).


In the top of the 9th, with Minnesota up to bat, the batter tried to bunt for a base hit. The USC team took this as Minnesota trying to “show them up” … but USC had one more chance at the plate.


Winfield came out to the mound in the bottom of the 9th and was surely set on finishing this game – he had owned the USC hitters the first 8 innings already. USC led off bottom of the 9th with a single, then came a grounder to short (a sure double-play ball). The shortstop flipped to the second baseman and he tossed it to first. The umpire ruled the runner at first SAFE and Minnesota was FURIOUS!


Of course, the Minnesota head coach came out to argue the call and was ejected from the game. With a runner on first and 1 out, the USC hitters would score 4 runs on a couple of singles and an error by the Minnesota first baseman before Winfield was pulled.


Multiple relievers would come in the game and the Trojans kept fighting and stringing off base hit after base hit, with 2 outs to work with.


USC scored 4 more runs and won 8-7.


The Trojans moved on to the Championship game and beat Arizona State to win the 1973 College World Series.


Understand that it’s never over. Whether you’re up 7 or down 7, it’s never over. Play the game the right way. Don’t get too frustrated or too relaxed. Don’t change your game because of the score. Build off of a strong defensive inning with your teammates and the negative energy from the opposing team. Play the game hard from the 1st pitch to the 3rd and final out.


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