Scouting the College World Series while wondering if the verbose Texas Tech fanatic is suffering from laryngitis this week.
Despite the season ending a game from the College World Series, Oklahoma State played competitive baseball at season’s end with Big 12 Conference and regional tourney titles and forcing a deciding third game in the NCAA Super Regional at Texas Tech.
Florida State might be a team of destiny during the final season of 40-year head coach Mike Martin. The Seminoles, who lost 13 of 20 games mid-season, were one of the last four teams to make the NCAA Tournament field.
FSU (41-21) beat Florida Atlantic and twice defeated third-seeded Georgia in the Athens Regional to secure a Super Regional trip to 13th-seeded Louisiana State. The Seminoles stunned LSU 6-4 in the opener and in front of an Alex Box Stadium crowd of 11,713 fans Sunday, FSU secured a 5-4, 12-inning victory.
It will be FSU’s 17th trip to the CWS during the tenure of the 75-year-old Martin. His teams haven’t won a national title but finished runner-up in 1999 and 1986. FSU will likely be a sentimental favorite when the College World Series opens Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.
Michigan, another late addition to the NCAA Tournament, made the most of its opportunity. The Wolverines, who lost to Oklahoma State in an early-season game at Dodger Stadium, won the Corvallis (Oregon) Regional.
Michigan (46-20) stunned No. 1 seed UCLA in the Super Regional in Los Angeles, California. The Wolverines edged UCLA 3-2 in the opener, lost 5-4 in 12 innings in the second game and claimed a 4-2 deciding game win late Sunday night.
Michigan faces Texas Tech in its CWS opener Saturday. The Wolverines lost a three-game series at Texas Tech in March.
Entering the NCAA playoffs, the Pac-12 Conference led in all-time CWS appearances with 101, followed by the Southeastern Conference with 99, Atlantic Coast Conference with 94 and the Big 12 Conference with 78. The Big 10 Conference had 28 previous appearances.
East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin isn’t a happy man. He was reportedly critical of ECU’s No. 10 national seed and wasn’t pleased with the Super Regional schedule at Louisville, Kentucky.
The Pirates (47-18) had an impressive season, going 20-4 in the American Conference – including a sweep of Connecticut. In the recent Major League draft, ECU had seven players drafted.
East Carolina, however, lost the regional opener to Quinnipac and battled through the losers’ bracket to win the title, capturing two wins last Monday. The Pirates traveled to Louisville last Wednesday, practiced Thursday and played Friday. It didn’t go well for ECU, losing 14-1 and 12-0.
Duke got second-seeded Vanderbilt’s attention following an 18-5 win in the opener of the Nashville Super Regional. Duke was no-hit and fanned 19 times in a 3-0 second game loss before being routed 13-2 Sunday.
Ron Holt is a sports columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Holt served as sports editor for more than 30 years and resides in Bixby.