Kristen E. McGilton March 7, 2011 Michael Roth National Champ remains down-to-Earth Describing himself as a perfectionist and a man of competition, Michael Roth remains humble and optimistic regardless of being a National Champion and the starting pitcher of the South Carolina Gamecocks. “I try to look at things in a positive light,” Roth said. “That helps in baseball because you’re going to fail a majority of the time especially when you’re put in a tough situation.” In high school, Roth was the starting pitcher his sophomore, junior and senior year. Although he was drafted to the University of South Carolina as a first baseman, he became USC’s relieving pitcher. This season, Roth is the starting pitcher on Friday nights. “Ever since the Carolina versus Clemson game during the College World Series, I knew he was an important role on the team,” sophomore Cole Meetze said. Roth pitched a three-hitter against Clemson for all nine innings. The Gamecocks defeated the Tigers 5-1 during the College World Series. “It’s in my family. We like to win so just my personality was enough to keep me pitching,” Roth said. “It wasn’t because I was out for blood or I wanted to make a point, I was just doing my job and helping out my team.” Although Roth didn’t pitch during the Carolina versus USC Upstate game, he was jumping up and down cheering on his teammates. Roth was waving his hands back and forth as Christian Walker approached the plate and hit a grand slam rounding up the score 15-1.
“Michael has a lot of potential to be successful in baseball and business,” USC Upstate spectator, Aleisa Way said. “He’s a good role model and has a big heart.” Roth said he has a responsibility to give back and that Camp Kemo would be a great way to do so. Roth and other players shaved their heads to raise money for Camp Kemo in honor of loved ones such as the team’s adherent and friend, Bayler Teal. “We’ve been playing for Bayler,” Roth said. “In Omaha when Jackie [Bradley] got his game tying hit was the exact minute Bayler passed away. Camp Kemo made me realize that this was a chance to bring a spotlight not to just Carolina baseball but to help others for a good cause.” Roth also helps out the community as a mentor at an elementary school. He said his goal is to inspire a kid like how his dad inspired him. Roth grinned ear-to-ear as he recalled his fondest memory of his dad playing catch in the backyard until it was dark and sometimes, “he would go flip on the automatic lights and we’d hit until I was fed up with it,” Roth said. Another of Roth’s favorite memories (not including winning the College World Series) was winning the state championship his sophomore year of high school along with fellow Gamecock Jake Williams. “[The state championship] was with a group of guys who were absolutely my best friends,” Roth said. “That’s when we noticed that chemistry has a huge factor on a team and what they can do.”
Published on Sep 11, 2011