The College World Series Begins
The road to Omaha is over and the 2021’s College World Series bracket is finalized. For the 12th time in the tournament’s history, the SEC will have three teams participating. The defending Champions, the Vanderbilt Commodores along with Tennessee, and Mississippi State will represent the SEC.
The ACC and the Pac-12 have two teams in the tournament each while Texas represents the Big 12. Despite Texas Tech and Arkansas elimination, five of the seven super regional hosts will partake in the World Series. Vanderbilt, Arizona, Stanford, and North Carolina State will be in Bracket 1. Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Virginia will be in Bracket 2. From the Omaha Eight, the most surprising entry is NC State. NC State was able to knock off previous title favorite Arkansas who won over 50 games this season and the SEC Championship.
Vanderbilt Takes on Arizona
Vanderbilt baseball will take on Arizona for their opening game of the College World Series.
The Arizona Wildcats are built on young talent. Out of the five named collegiate freshman of the year, the Wildcats represented two spots Daniel Susac and Jacob Berry. Susac won the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award with hitting splits of .329/.389/.581. Berry, a finalist for the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award, racked in 17 home runs and 17 RBI’s.
Nonetheless, Vanderbilt has talent of its own and is the defending National Champions. 5-0 this postseason, Vanderbilt relies on its two pitchers Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter. Both pitchers have 90 mph fastballs, control and never rattle in big moments. Rocker has a 6-0 record with an 0.63 ERA in the NCAA Tournament, while Leiter and his 97 fastballs have 178 strikeouts in his collegiate career. The Commodores have elite hitting in addition to record-setting pitching.
Tennessee Plays Virginia
The Volunteers have reached the College World Series for the first time since 2005. Although Vanderbilt gets most of the attention out of the SEC, Tennessee should be recognized as a force to be reckoned with. Star infielder Jake Rucker has been their rock this year. Rucker has batted lights out on .331/.400/.526 splits. The Vols offense shined with six home runs to win their Super Regional against LSU. The Vols offense will be the biggest key for victory in the College World Series.
Their opponent Virginia has been able to win two straight in back-to-back regionals after going down 0-1. While starting 6-12 in conference play they’ve shaped up to win the last 12 of 18. This includes two straight victories against South Carolina and Dallas Baptist. The Cavaliers are led by pitcher Andrew Abbot a First-Team All-ACC pitcher and a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. With the most experienced coach in the tournament Brian O’Connor, with 14 straight postseason berths, the Cavs-Vols matchup may be a close matchup.
Mississippi State Takes On Texas
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 15, 2021
Mississippi State has made its journey to Omaha for the third consecutive year in a row. Head coach Chris Lemonis has also made two College World Series appearances in two seasons for the Bulldogs. While the Dudy Noble field record-breaking 40,140 people won’t travel to Omaha star outfielders Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Jordan will. The No. 7 ranked Mississippi State (44-15) look to play against a team they beat on Opening Day, 8-3.
The Texas Longhorns swept through both the Regional and Super Regional tournament and have trailed only a frame throughout the entire NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns are dominant and hold a 47-15 record for the year. Tied for second all-time in College World Series titles with six the Longhorns have the Bulldogs standing in the way of their seventh.
Here is the schedule and the rest of the games in the College World Series
Saturday, June 19
Game 1: Stanford vs. NC State
Game 2: Vanderbilt vs Arizona
Sunday, June 20
Game 3: Tennessee vs Virginia
Game 4: Texas vs Mississippi State
Monday, June 21
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser | 2 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 6: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Tuesday, June 22
Game 7: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser | 2 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Wednesday, June 23
Game 9: 7 p.m. | ESPN
Thursday, June 24
Game 10: 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Friday, June 25
Game 11: 2 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 12: 7 p.m. | ESPN
Saturday, June 26
Game 13: 2 p.m. | ESPN (if necessary)
Game 14: 7 p.m. | ESPN2 (if necessary)
CWS Finals (Best-of-3 series)
Game 1: 7 p.m. | Monday, June 28 | ESPN2
Game 2: 7 p.m. | Tuesday, June 29 | ESPN
Game 3: 7 p.m. | Wednesday, June 30 | ESPN2 (if necessary)