OMAHA, Neb. — Now that the first round is complete, it’s time for news and notes, where we look back on the first two days of the College World Series.
Bad Time to be Seeded
It’s been a rough tournament for seeded teams. Only No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 9 Texas and No. 14 Auburn made it to the final leg of the national championship race.
As the sun rises on Day 3 in Omaha, seeded teams are still looking for their first win. All four teams were dispatched in rather easy fashion in their openers, which means that once Round 2 is complete, there will definitely only be two seeded teams remaining.
Records Meant to be Broken
The 17-2 win over Stanford put Arkansas into the record books on Saturday.
Not only was it the biggest win in a College World Series game since Arizona St. took down Wichita St. 19-1 to advance to the championship game to coincidentally face Stanford, but the Razorbacks’ 21 hits establishes a new CWS record for a single game total.
How Did the Big 3 Fare?
Stanford’s Brock Jones, Oklahoma’s Peyton Graham and Arkansas’s Caden Wallace are the potential first round Major League draft picks to keep an eye on this week.
Jones opened his CWS experience in a big way by taking the first pitch he saw over the right field wall. Unfortunately for Jones, that was the height of his experience as Razorback ace Connor Noland settled in, dominating the rest of the way while holding Jones hitless the rest of the game.
Graham had a similar experience to Jones. He opened the game with a single to shallow right before going 1-for-4 at the plate while the Sooners cruised over A&M.
Of the three, it was Wallace who shined the most. The stud third baseman went 3-for-6 at the plate, including a home run and a pair of RBI in a big win over No. 2 Stanford.
Second Round Showdowns
The second round in Omaha brings up two match-ups where there will be no love lost.
Texas and Texas A&M expected to face off in the winner’s bracket, but instead will lock up in an elimination game. Despite the Aggies having escaped the Longhorn’s shadow over a decade ago to surpass Texas overall in men’s athletics, the one area where the Longhorns have kept an edge is baseball.
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The Aggies come in with a higher seed, but that will be meaningless if the defending national runner-up sends A&M packing after only two games.
These two teams met back in late March when the Aggies wandered into Austin and dropped the Horns into the nearby Colorado River and drove back to College Station with a 12-9 win that was a blow-out until Texas made it respectable in the bottom of the 8th and 9th innings.
The other showdown that could get heated takes place Monday when Arkansas and Ole Miss meet up in the winner’s bracket with the chance to move within a single win of the championship game.
Arkansas began the year ranked No. 2 while Ole Miss began ranked No. 5 before conference play sent both tumbling.
These teams feature two of the three most intimidating home fields in all of college baseball and Arkansas brought its fan base to Nebraska. Saturday’s game against Stanford was deafening, but if those same fans were able to take off work Monday and Tuesday, the scene will be even more raucous Monday night.
The Rebels rolled into Fayetteville to face what was then the No. 4 Razorbacks during a tumultuous time for Ole Miss. After dropping 2-of-3 to the Hogs, Mike Bianco’s club found itself 5-11 over its past 16 games, barely over .500, and 7-13 in the SEC.
The Rebels then won eight of their next nine games to squeak into the SEC tournament and eventually the NCAA tournament.
Both teams went winless in the SEC tournament, but have gone a combined 12-1 since. If Arkansas were to knock off the Rebels, it would be their first loss of the tournament.
Not Fan Friendly
While temperatures were relatively mild for the first two games, Sunday and Monday are going to be
Temperatures will reach 100 degrees with strong, hot winds blowing from the south at 18-25 mph.
It won’t be too much of an adjustment for the SEC and Big 12 teams, but Stanford and Notre Dame might wilt in the hot sun.
Today in Stanford the high is in the 70s while the lows are in the lower 50s while South Bend tops out at 82 with a window raising low of 62.