Langston Hughes had a poem about a dying dream, essentially stating when dreams die, life becomes much harder. Sixteen schools today face eliminations in the NCAA CWS tournament and their dreams of playing in Omaha will end. It will take a lot more than raisins in the sun to capture the desperation many of these teams will be facing come first pitch.
Alabama vs. Florida State in Tallahassee was one of the most shocking match-ups of the day. The number one seeded Florida State was facing elimination against a heavy hitting Alabama team. The Seminoles went deep into their bullpen to try to attempt to confuse the Crimson lineup. NCAA football Heisman winner and freshman pitcher Jameis Winston not only made a special appearance as he releaved pitcher Gage Smith. His presence was not all for show as Winston picked off Austen Smith to end the 7th inning. Winston would go on to pitch for the remainder of the game and did not allow a score from Alabama. With a 6-0 deficit and the end of the season facing the Seminoles at the bottom of the 9th, a barrage of runs suddenly broke out from the Florida State and the Seminoles were back in it with five runs. With two outs and the tying run on third, Gage West would ultimately hit a fly ball with high hopes, but no momentum as the Seminoles fall to the Crimson Tide 6-5 and are eliminated from the tournament.
Florida vs. North Carolina in Gainsville has pinned old rivals head-to-head once again. The Gators had a tough time getting pitching rhythm going as five runs were scored in the bottom of the 3rd. Junior starting pitcher Bobby Poyner and freshman relief Kirby Snead were not able to contain the Tar Heels scoring clinic as the Gators lose to North Carolina 5-2 and eliminate Florida from the NCAA tournament.
Campbell vs. Old Dominion went all the way to the 12th inning in Columbia. With championship hopes on the line, the Monarchs roared loudly as they defended the field. Their bark were much worst than their bites, however as the lack of power hitting prove to be detrimental with men left on bases and ground outs ultimately contributing to the Fighting Camels win. Old Dominion is eliminated from the CWS tournament for losing to Campbell by a score of 4-1.
Kentucky vs. Kent State out in Louisville ended in a wild finish. Top of the 9th and down by two runs, Junior infielder Max Kuhn singles to left in which opened the floodgates for the Wildcats as they were able to pounce the Golden Flashes with a final score of 4-2.
UNLV vs. North Dakota State took place in Corvallis and was an exciting game from the very beginning. Junior infielder T.J. White kicked it off for the rebels as a well-timed steal and sacrifice gave the Rebels their first score. Not to be outdone, fellow teammate and infielder Morgan Stotts hit a monster home run that put UNLV ahead of the Bison’s for the remainder of the game. The Rebels out gunned North Dakota State 2-1 and eliminated the Bisons from NCAA championship contention.
Commentary by Hector Carrion