Yesterday was a day for mostly “big boys” with LSU, Fullerton, Arkansas, and Virginia all in action. Arkansas and Virginia have just three trips to the CWS between them in the last ten years (and obviously this is UVA’s first trip), but they’re still from power conferences.
Three more “big boy” teams are in action today, but Cinderella makes steps up to center stage tonight when Southern Mississippi plays #1 Texas. (North Carolina and Arizona State play the matinee). Some thoughts on today’s action…
- As of last night, we still had not heard who Texas will start tonight. Fullerton went with Noe Ramirez over Daniel Renken, and now Dave Serrano’s team is in a Monday elimination game vs. Virginia. Will that decision make it that much easier for Augie Garrido to go with Chance Ruffin if he was even thinking about anyone else?
- Southern Mississippi starting pitchers have made it past the fifth inning just once in their six NCAA Tournament games, but the Golden Eagles are still 5-1 and in Omaha. Their offense has scored 8.8 runs a game to counter the lack of pitching longevity. (Remind you of a team from California last year?)
- Seriously, isn’t it cool to have a head coach named Corky Palmer in the CWS?
- Speaking of starting pitching, as of last night ASU’s Pat Murphy still hadn’t announced his starter for today’s game vs. North Carolina. If it’s not Pac 10 Pitcher of the Year Mike Leake (16-1, 1.36 ERA, 150 K), I’ll go sun bathe with Sparky in the left field bleachers (trust me, you don’t want to see that).
- The last time Mike Fox and North Carolina failed to make it to the College World Series was 2005 when his Tar Heels were eliminated by Paul Mainieri’s Notre Dame team at the Gainesville, FL Regional. The Florida team that won that regional went on to finish as the national runner-up with a loss to Texas in the CWS Championship Series.
- As noted last night, LSU used all three of its weekend starter in its opening win over Virginia. SEC Pitcher of the Year Louis Coleman pitched just an inning, and with a day off Sunday, it was essentially a bullpen workout on a big stage. Mainieri says he and Austin Ross will still make their next scheduled starts.
- The crowds inside and outstide Rosenblatt Stadium as well as on the streets and in the press box itself were enormous yesterday. I don’t think I’ve seen as many people here. I wonder how much that fact that Rosenblatt’s days are numbered (along with LSU and Texas as well as homeboy Brian O’Connor being here) have to do with it?
You ready for day two?