As the dawn of the first day of the NCAA College World Series approaches, the dreams of championships and immortality has ended for the players who woke up to reality this morning. While even the favorites are not guaranteed a path to glory, confidence reign on through the locker rooms as the sweat and heartache that took to get to this point would be in naught if doubt begins to creep in now. The NCAA CWS tournament is set to begin as upsets and line drives determain the destiny of the players in the sixty-four participating schools who dare to pursue a dream as they step foot onto the baseball field.
Alabama vs. Kennesaw State lead the parade this year as both teams me in what was a defensive struggle right until the end in Tallahassee. Freshman catcher Brennan Moore scored the lone run of the game at the top of the fifth. Freshman pitcher Travis Bergen had a performance to hoot for as he pitched the Owls into a shutout victory against the Tides.
Old Dominion vs. Maryland may not have been on the minds of most baseball analysts, but their hearts certainly couldn’t take the insane and exhilarating ending in Columbia. The Monarchs had the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 3-1 score, but a different winner was to be crowned today. With the bases loaded for Maryland, Old Dominion brought in their closer. Junior relief pitcher Brad Gero not only failed to stop the momentum of the Terrapins, but accidentally hit both freshman Brandon Lowe and sophomore Jose Cuas in back-to-back sessions in what can be described as one of the most awkward walk-off wins in NCAA tournament history.
Cal State Fullerton vs. Nebraska left ripples in the Stillwater Regionals community. Tied 1-1 at the bottom of the eighth inning, sophomore first basemen J.D. Davis hit a gigantic grand slam that lead the Titans to a 5-1 victory over the Cornhuskers.
North Carolina vs. Long Beach State matched up in Gainsville. While the boys from Long Beach may not practice Santeria, they might as well be at batting practice during the bottom of the fourth inning. In what seemed to be almost instantaniously, Tar Heel’s freshman pitcher Trent Thornton allowed four runs and was quickly relieved. Long Beach State ended the inning with two more runs ending the game with a triumphant 6-1 victory.
Clemson vs. Oregon had a baseball game in Nashville until the bottom of the fourth inning. The NCAA does not have a mercy rule in place for men’s baseball, but perhaps its something that should be on the table in the committee. As the Tigers attempted to rally back from a 3-1 score, the Ducks went on a hitting spree so devastating University of South Carolina students are sending their blessings to the victims involved. The Tiger’s roar were no match for the Duck’s quack as Oregon beats Clemson 18-1.
Virginia vs. Bucknell was a heavy spirited battle at the Charlottesville. The number one seeded Cavaliers had a fight in their hands for the first five in a half innings. As Cavs senior pitcher Artie Lewicki had a stellar performance, it was an error made by Bison third base man Sam Clark that opened the flood gates. Virginia ultimately defeats Bucknell 10-1.
While the NCAA College World Series continues throughtout the day, the early games have been exciting to watch. As the first round of the tournament is double elimination, will these early loses be discouraged or can they pick themselves up and play their hearts out.
Commentary by Hector Carrion