Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Caught in a Rundown at the CWS

I realize my numbers have dipped slightly since I've focused on college baseball. Well, If you need a reason to watch, read the open to ESPN's Monday notebook feature:

The College World Series is a unique baseball experience.

There's the ping of aluminum bats. And the attitude of the players, who approach the game with an all-out enthusiasm and a series of high-fives and back slaps for their teammates.

Every home run hitter is greeted en masse at home plate.

You'll more than likely see a little bit of everything, even an attempted steal of home with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Who went "2 and Barbecue"

Tennessee - Fortunately for all the Tennessee pro prospects the draft was already held, otherwise their stock would have dropped. Especially Scott Boras client Luke Hochenvar, who was blitzed by Florida in their opener. (See what happens when you deal with the Devil, Luke?)

Oregon State - Hate to see a potential nice story end so badly, especially since their last College World Series trip was over 2 years ago, but they ran into two good teams. To their credit, though, they fought hard and took Baylor to extra innings to try and extend their trip.

By the way, the expression "2 and barbecue" refers to Omaha's favorite cuisine, which CWS teams that get eliminated early spend the rest of their time eating.

Who's still undisputed and undefeated

Texas - Surprise, surprise. The Longhorns polished off the top seed Tulane with superior pitching, beating around Astros top pick and pitcher Brian Bogusevic.

Florida - Another surprise, the Gators beat Nebraska on Monday to earn a day off today.

Who's playing in today's elimination game

Nebraska vs. Arizona State (1:00 PM, ESPN) - Nebraska has very good pitching depth. Heck, if I were the Nebraska manager, I'd take the chance and run my weekday starter out there because he's better than anything Arizona State has left. But then again, if I knew enough about baseball to manage, I wouldn't be doing this blog.

(Note: the "weekday starter" in collegiate baseball is equivalent to a 4th starter in the bigs. Generally you play one game in mid-week, usually a non-conference game, and three games on the weekend.)

Tulane vs. Baylor (6:00 PM, ESPN) - If Baylor wants another shot at Texas, they must beat the fallen #1 seed today. Should be a good, tough game. I give the Green Wave the edge because Baylor's bullpen is probably worn out.

Game 6 NBA Finals Coverage today on Spur of the Moment.
Tomorrow: Baseball's "Final Four"
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