The Bulldogs are the top Dawgs, as they rush the field to mob Luke Alexander.


CWS: Day One In Pictures

At The Ballpark

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I was asked earlier this week by Gary Sharp, the host of an afternoon sports show on 1620 The Zone in Omaha, if the College World Series was immune from “bad baseball”. In other words, with games going so long, home runs at a minimum and basic bad play overall, would the fans still stream into TD Ameritrade Park and keep the attendance figures high. 

At the time, I said, “Oh yeah, it is immune from bad baseball. The fans here in Omaha have embraced this event, no matter what.” 

I’m starting to wonder if that’s true now. Today’s first game made for a BAAAAAD baseball day. Not just on the field, but definitely in the stands too. The official attendance for Game 1 between Oregon State and North Carolina was announced as 21,628. But man alive, about halfway through that game you probably could have cut that attendance figure in half. And three hours into the game, when it was still only in the sixth inning, you could’ve cut that figure down to about 5,000. 

That game not only took forever but also was played on one of the hottest days in the last few years of the College World Series. The official temperature reached a high of 95º and the heat index ended up hitting 110º. This is not a quality baseball experience for the average fan here in Omaha. 

Prior to this the longest nine-inning game in CWS history was 4:21, Miami 21, Tennessee 13 in 2001. Today, game one went a mind-numbing 4-hours, 24-minutes. Gah! 

The second game was a complete flip from that as Mississippi State outlasted Washington 1-0, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a Luke Alexander RBI single which scored Hunter Stovall from second base. That game lasted a rather crisp 2-hours, 44-minutes. now THAT’s a good baseball game to watch. Especially since the temps finally fell into the 80s after the sun went down.

– OSU head coach Pat Casey on the way his team played:
“it’s tough when you play 60 games this year and you trust your team to play the way they have all year. But then, they just didn’t play very well.” 

– UNC coach Mike Fox on his team:
“The characteristic I like about this team is they flush things quickly. Eyes forward. Eyes forward. Eyes forward. That’s it. I got to give credit to our team today.”

– Washington coach Lindsay Meggs, on waiting for the first game to end:
“I told my assistant, ‘Gah, I feel like a substitute teacher for a third grade class.’ Our guys were just so fidgety they were bouncing off the walls to get out there and play.”

– MSU coach Gary Henderson on the alacrity of the second game.
“I guess if you’re a fan and you watch both, you’re probably pretty appreciative of that game right there, 2:44.”


Here is how today looked from the focus of our lenses.

OSU came into the game as the leaders in hitting (.317), pitching (3.45) and fielding (.979) but didn’t look like that team today.


North Carolina came into today’s game with a 1-5 mark against OSU all-time, with all six games coming in the College World Series.


Brandon Martorano went 0-for-3 vs. the Beavers today but scored twice.


The pressure of being in the white hot spotlight may have gotten to Beaver ace Luke Heimlich.


This call at third base was wrongly ruled “safe” even though here you see that Michael Gretler tags Brandon Martorano on his slide into 3rd.


UNC center fielder Brandon Riley can’t catch up to this fly ball to the wall hit by OSU’s Trevor Larnach.


It was a game of near-misses for Mr. Riley as he couldn’t quite wrangle this liner to the meadow either.


How big was today’s game in Coach Mike Fox’s eyes? Cooper Crisswell, who was going to be the game two starter, came on in relief today. He threw 2.1 innings of one-hit ball and picked up his first save of the year. He threw 34 pitches, so who knows if he’ll get a starting nod on Monday or the next game after that.


Check out this pic that Lady StitchHead caught one of the ever-present swallows in mid-flight.


UNC’s Kyle Datres makes a catch near the tarp down the third base line.


The Oregon State defense seemed all out of sorts today, committing three errors and having a couple of other blunders ladled on them.


In case you missed it from my tweet or from the feature pic in Kendall’s write-up, here is Jake Magnum scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.


The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.MSU players mob Luke Alexander for the game winning hit while Washington’s Willie MacIver walks off the field.


Joe DeMers was his usual dominant self, but did the Huskies pull him too early? He was dominating the Bulldogs through his 7.1 innings of work before getting pulled.


Despite this being Udub’s first ever game in the College World Series I thought they were really loose and acclimated to the big stage well.


Gotta dig the Bulldog’s cleats, which shimmer like the inside of abalone shell. Cool stuff.


Ethan Small did an admirable job, going 7.0 innings and giving up just four hits and no walks.

Luke Alexander also played a key part in keeping the Huskies scoreless, making this force play in the top of the 9th inning when Washington was threatening.


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