Well, it’s that time of year already. The College World Series is back in Omaha. The teams making the trip this year, Stony Brook, UCLA, Arizona, Florida State, Kent State, Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida.
Here’s the lineup:
Athletic Director Jim Fiore likes to tell the story of his first alumni function, in the fall of 2003, when an older gentleman pointed to the title of athletic director on Fiore’s name tag and remarked, “Stony Brook has athletics?” On Friday, the baseball team will become the second No. 4 seed to play in the College World Series when the Seawolves face U.C.L.A. in Omaha. Arizona, which is in Stony Brook’s bracket, has more C.W.S. appearances (15) than the Seawolves have years as a Division I program (12).
It’s been awhile since Arizona played in the College World Series. This will be the 15th appearance by the Wildcats, but only their second, since winning the third national championship in 1986.
The Florida State Seminoles entered the NCAA baseball tournament as the No. 3 overall seed, and they’ve won every game they’ve played thus far. This is FSU’s 21st trip to the College World Series — more than any other team in this year’s field — but they still haven’t won a national title.
Kent State will officially make its first ever College World Series appearance on Saturday against Arkansas. The Flashes are the first MAC team to reach the CWS since Eastern Michigan in 1976.
The talented staff has carried Arkansas this season, all the way back to the College World Series for the first time since 2009. And now that the trip to Omaha, Neb., is secured, the Razorbacks(44-20) plan to stick around a while. Arkansas opens play on Saturday against Kent State (46-18).
If you have been watching the NCAA tournament, have you noticed the antics of the players? Star pitcher Michael Roth usually leads the team in dugout dances and chants when he is not on the field causing trouble for batters of the opposing team. On the field, Gamecock Michael Roth is the lead character in the Gamecocks’ “act” on your TV screen while watching the NCAA tournament, but his stats are astounding.
Florida is 47-18 on the year. They’ll be making their third-straight CWS appearance, opening play against No. 1 seed South Carolina (45-17) on Saturday. No. 3 Kent State and No. 2 Arkansas are also on Florida’s side of the bracket. Florida hosted North Carolina State in the Super Regional and took two of two from the Wolfpack to advance to Omaha. The Gators won the first game 7-1 and took the second, 9-8, in 10 innings.
There are thousands of fans returning to Omaha for the whole College World Series experience, regardless of who is playing. The CWS is a national event, and there are fans, choosing their favorite team simply because they like the mascot or school colors! Me? As it plays out, I’ll always be rooting for the underdog. It’s just the way I am! While you’re in town, there is plenty to do.
The place I grew up, Boys Town is exhibiting a display on the importance of baseball for the Home in the Hall of History. The Durham Museum is celebrating the history of Rosenblatt Stadium. A local movie theatre is showing baseball-themed movies. ANd of course, there is the local art!!
Welcome to Omaha and have a great time while you’re here!