Several programs with history in Omaha (LSU, Florida State and Stanford to name a few) are participating in the eight Super Regionals this weekend. But only two of the 16 remaining teams earned a spot in last year’s College World Series.
So, what happened to the other six from the 2011 CWS?
California: Ended the year losing 10 of its last 16 games, placing eighth in the Pac-12. Didn’t make the 64-team field
North Carolina: Upset twice by St. John’s in its own Regional
Texas: Finished third in the Big 12, but missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998
Texas A&M: Went 1-2 in its home Regional, eliminated in a 10-2 blowout by TCU
Vanderbilt: Started the Regional 2-0, which included a thrilling comeback win over NC State. But then lost twice to the Wolfpack
Virginia: Won its opener, but lost two one-run games in a home Regional last weekend
Florida and South Carolina — the two teams in last year’s CWS final — are still alive this time around. If they both advance, they’ll each be making their third straight appearances in Omaha (the record is seven in a row by Oklahoma State from 1981 to 1987).
But both the Gamecocks and Gators don’t start Super Regional action until Saturday. Below is a preview of what’s going on in college baseball today. Find a more in-depth breakdown of today’s Super Regionals right here.
Stanford vs. Florida State at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Featuring two talented teams who appear to be evenly matched, this Super Regional could be drama-filled. Other than Florida-NC State, it’s the only match-up between two No. 1 seeds.
Arizona boasts a team batting average of .333 (fourth nationally) and averages 7.5 runs per game (sixth). Slowing down that offense won’t be easy. But in the series opener, St. John’s will start Kyle Hansen, a right-hander who’s 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last seven starts, striking out 52 over 49 1/3 innings. St. John’s was supposed to hold a baseball camp this week, but instead it’ll play Arizona at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
Stony Brook leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski — picked 44th overall by San Diego in the MLB draft Monday night — hit .478 in five Regional games, recording an on-base percentage of .556, scoring nine times and driving in six others. More on the Seawolves here. Jankowski will try to lead his team to a win against LSU at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
DID YOU KNOW?
TCU is one of 10 schools to earn a spot in the last nine NCAA tournaments. The Horned Frogs have also appeared in three Super Regionals over the last four years, which only seven other programs have done. They play at UCLA at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
DAILY OMAHA EIGHT
My clubhouse favorites to reach Omaha are as follows: Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, LSU, South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Arizona.