Road to Omaha Spots Claimed By 8

Road to Omaha Spots Claimed By 8


College baseball’s top teams head to Nebraska.

The 2011 NCAA Division 1 College World Series field is all set, with the first games scheduled for this weekend. Eight teams have emerged from the Super Regionals and will play in a double elimination tournament that will yield two teams playing in a best-of-three championship.

Gamecocks Return

Winning the right to play in Omaha this year is last year’s champion, the South Carolina Gamecocks who knocked off the UConn Huskies on Sunday to claim one of the spots. South Carolina is not the top-ranked team this year; those honors belong the Virginia Cavaliers.

The other six teams heading to Omaha are: the North Carolina Tarheels, Vanderbilt Tarheels, Texas Longhorns, Florida Gators, Texas A&M Aggies and the California Bears.

As has been the custom for the past six decades, Omaha hosts the tournament, but this year with one significant change of note: Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium will not be used. Instead, the CWS moves to the spanking new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, a state of the art facility seating 24,505. By building this new stadium, Omaha has secured the series for another 25 years, perhaps longer if the city agrees to expand the stadium to its full 35,000 seat potential.

By the Brackets

Action will start this weekend with two Bracket #1 games scheduled on Saturday and two games on Sunday. North Carolina will take on Vanderbilt at 2 p.m., followed by Texas battling Florida at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Bracket #2 teams do battle with California meeting Virginia at 2 p.m. followed by Texas A&M and South Carolina at 7 p.m. The winners of both brackets will battle for the championship which is scheduled to conclude on June 28 or 29.

Baseball Stars

A number of top players in college baseball will be on hand in Omaha, seeking to propel their schools to victory. The Tarheels have three pitchers that will lead the charge, with two, Kent Emanuel (8-1) and Patrick Johnson (13-1) likely handling starts. Johnson sports an ERA of 2.27 and has 120 strikeouts to just 30 walks in 107 innings pitched.

Taken in Major League Baseball’s college draft is pitcher Danny Hultzen (11-3) who has a 1.57 ERA this year and is 31-5 on the mound for the Cavaliers over three years. Hultzen was picked up by the Seattle Mariners. Taylor Jungmann, a pitcher for the Texas Longhorns (13-1, 1.40 ERA and 119 K/Os) was picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. Vanderbilt’s Sonny Gray, a pitcher with an 11-3 record and 2.01 ERA, was grabbed by the Oakland Athletics.

Other Omaha stars bound for professional baseball include North Carolina’s Levi Michael, a shortstop headed to the Minnesota Twins and Jackie Bradley, Jr., an outfielder for South Carolina who has been picked up by the Boston Red Sox. [2]

We’ll be tracking this year’s series; all games will be broadcast by ESPN.


[1]; College World Series Field Set; Evan Drellich; June 14, 2011

[2]; College Baseball Players Taken In The 2011 MLB Draft; Sean Stires; June 6, 2011


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