Another day of survival on Wednesday
OMAHA, Neb. -- Two rounds are complete at the College World Series, with Vanderbilt and Virginia in command.
The Cavaliers outlasted TCU 3-2 in 15 innings on Tuesday, matching the longest game in the history of this event. Daniel Pinero's sacrifice fly was the walk-off winner. Earlier, Ole Miss eliminated Texas Tech with a 2-1, walk-off win on John Gatlin's single that bounced over a five-man infield in the ninth inning.
Up next, Texas and UC Irvine fight for survival Wednesday night (8 ET, ESPN), a rematch of the opening game Saturday, a 3-1 win for the Anteaters.
Storylines to watch:
The pitching matchup: UC Irvine looks to junior left-hander Evan Manarino (4-3, 2.79 ERA), who has 10 starts in 22 outings this year -- most recently on May 13 against UCLA. He hasn't pitched more than five innings since Feb. 19. Texas counters with sophomore right-hander Chad Hollingsworth (3-0, 1.36), a season-long reliever who made his first start June 2 and fired a complete-game two-hitter in the Longhorns' 4-1 Houston Regional championship game victory over Texas A&M.
The spark plugs: Not much doubt exists for either team about the source of its offensive energy. The Eaters look to leadoff man and third baseman Taylor Sparks, who provided the game-tying triple in Irvine's three-run eighth inning to beat UT on Saturday. For Texas, it's center fielder Mark Payton, who hits in the 3-hole and saw his 101-game on-base streak snapped in the CWS opener. Texas could use a big night from Payton, who was 1-for-3 against Louisville on Monday.
The intangibles: Using these clubs' history as a gauge, UC Irvine will gamble; Texas, likely, will not. Mike Gillespie and Augie Garrido coach a similar style. Both teams play station-to-station baseball with plenty of bunts. Don't expect to see the first home run of this CWS on Thursday. Gillespie figures to try a hit-and-run in the right spot, and he's always up for a squeeze bunt. Additionally, the Eaters are not nearly as deep as Texas in the bullpen, so Irvine may have to make a few moves outside of its comfort zone unless Manarino pitches deep into the game.
CWS Schedule & Scores
ICYMI: Second Time's The Charm
OMAHA, Neb. -- Hidden on the résumé of Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco, beneath the five NCAA regional titles over 14 years in Oxford and his stint as an assistant coach with Team USA, you'll find five seasons under legendary coach Skip Bertman at LSU.
From 1993 to 1997, the Tigers played in the College World Series four times and won three national titles.
The 47-year-old coach, without that experience, could still say something like he did after the Rebels' 2-1, elimination-game win Tuesday over Texas Tech.
But it wouldn't resonate in the same way.
"Everything just seems amplified -- every single pitch, every error, every walk, every base hit," the coach said as Ole Miss fans buzzed on the streets outside TD Ameritrade Park after John Gatlin's pinch-hit single with one out in the ninth inning scored Aaron Greenwood for a walk-off win.
"You can feel it in this stadium." Full Story »