Konner Wade threw his third-straight complete game, Robert Refsnyder homered for the second game in a row and Arizona beat two-time defending national champion South Carolina 5-1 in the opener of the College World Series finals Sunday night at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Wade (11-3) limited the Gamecocks to six hits in a steady outing to help the Wildcats (47-17) move to within a win of their first national championship since 1986 and fourth overall.
The Gamecocks (49-19) must beat Arizona twice to become the first team since Southern California in the early 1970s to win three championships in a row. Game two is 7 p.m. Monday and game three, if necessary, would be Tuesday night.
Refsnyder, batting .444 (8-of-18) in the CWS, went 2-for-3 and was intentionally walked twice. He hit a two-run homer off Forrest Koumas (2-3) in the first to give Arizona the lead and he scored in the fifth on Bobby Brown's single to make it a four-run game.