South Carolina coach Ray Tanner gathered his players around him on the infield soon after clinching a spot in the College World Series.
''We didn't start out exactly like we wanted,'' Tanner told them.
But the two-time defending national champions always seem to end up where they want to be: in Omaha playing for a title.
South Carolina (45-17) wrapped up the NCAA super regional series with a 5-1 victory over Oklahoma on Monday, extending the Gamecocks' record with their 21st straight tournament victory. It's their third consecutive trip to the eight-team finals, 11th overall and sixth in Tanner's 16 seasons in charge.
''He's a magic man,'' ace lefty Michael Roth said.
Tanner's team has a chance to create a little more magic, too -- it could join the powerhouse program of Southern Cal as the only schools with more than two consecutive CWS crowns.
And the Gamecocks did it with plenty of new faces. There were five players in Monday's lineup that weren't part of the team a year ag...