The Big Drip
Three days in a row TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha has been under the big drip. Fans sitting in the stadium may have considered it more of a downpour, though.
In addition to the rain, North Carolina’s second game in Bracket 1 didn’t end up on the plus side for the Tar Heels. The rain definitely put a damper on the schedule Monday with the earlier game delayed 4 1/2 hours. That forced a postponement of the night game moving the two teams onto the Tuesday morning schedule.
The ensuing battle became completely unraveled for the Tar Heels late in the Tuesday game. Mississippi State unleashed an offensive flurry in the eighth inning that crushed any hopes for a rally by North Carolina.
The Big Drip
The Tar Heels took the lead in the bottom of the first with a Kyle Datres double. Datres moved to third on a ground out and then advanced home on a fly out making it 1-0.
The Bulldogs had a solid second as Elijah MacNamee singled followed by Justin Foscue and Luke Alexander to load the bases. Freshman Jordan Westburg had the best game of his short collegiate career as he blasted a grand slam that made it Mississippi State 4-1.
After the fireworks, Tar Heels starter Austin Bergner shut down the Bulldogs offense by retiring 16 straight batters into the seventh.
It Got Ooogly
Ashton McGee put some life back into the dugout with a leadoff triple for North Carolina. McGee scored on a wild pitch to make it a 4-2 game but the hopes of a rally fizzled.
There’s no doubt that a second wind made it’s way into the Mississippi State dugout in the eighth. Dustin Skelton delivered a leadoff single followed up by Westburg. Jordan Anderson took Skelton’s place on base to pinch run and then advanced to third on a throwing error. Jake Mangum was then intentionally walked to load the bases.
Consecutive RBI singles were delivered by Rowdey Jordan, Tanner Allen and Hunter Stovall. MacNamee made it to first on a grounder and error which sent another run across the plate. Things continued to become unglued for North Carolina as the Bulldogs’ Alexander took base after being hit. That forced yet another player home.
Westburg ended the inning with a three RBI double down the left field line capping a memorable day for the freshman.
The final score, Mississippi State, 12-2 .
The Final Straw
Rain, rain go away wasn’t working for the grounds crew at the College World Series today (Wednesday, June 20).
Thunderstorms in the Omaha area continued to delay action and keep officials on their toes. The Arkansas vs Texas Tech game scheduled for Tuesday night was moved to 12:00p E today. It was in rain delay until 3:30p.
Why The Busiest Guy In Omaha May Be The Meteorologist
The elimination game pits North Carolina against Oregon State once again. The Tar Heels came away with a win in the first meeting and against one of the Beavers top pitchers, Luke Heimlich.
Both teams are in a do it or (die) go home scenario. The game is scheduled for 7:00p E however the likelihood of it starting on time is fairly slim because of the early game delay. Additionally, there is a mandatory 65 minute break between games during the College World Series.
What’s Next? The Bracket
There’s only one team left without a loss in Bracket 1 and that’s Mississippi State. With a win tonight against Oregon State the Tar Heels challenge becomes that much greater. With one loss already they’ll have to beat the Bulldogs in two straight games.
A Tar Heels advance will put them head to head again on Friday, June 22 at 3:00p E with the Bulldogs. With a win North Carolina will have a quick turnaround with a game on Saturday.
That’s the path to the College World Series Championship. Game one of the title series is scheduled for Monday, June 25 at 7:00p E. Coverage will be on ESPN.