The greatest week-and-a-half in sports kicks off later today, when top remaining seed Rice will take on underdog deluxe Louisville in the first game of the 2007 College World Series. Phillies’ first round pick and Rice ace Joe Savery (10-1, 2.78 ERA) will try to topple Zack Pitts (10-3, 2.23) and the momentum driven Cardinals, who are fresh off a 20-2 beatdown of Oklahoma State in the final game of their Super Regional matchup. Rice is an experienced ballclub that was aÂ handful of outs away from the CWS Championship Series last year, but this is Louisville’s first ever trip to Omaha, and only the 2nd time in school history they’ve made the 64 team postseason field.
Later tonight the defending CWS Championship runner-up UNC will takeÂ on the other CWS underdog, Mississippi State.Â Rob Woodard (10-2, 3.01) takes on Chad Crosswhite (8-4, 4.24) in a matchup of two guys that won’t wow you with stuff, but have plus-plus compete tools and will give you all they have for 8 innings. I already took UNC as my pick to win the whole schabang, but with the way the postseason has unfolded so far, they’re just as likely to go 2-and-out in the double elimination tourney as win the CWS Title.
Here’s a couple quick links to some more CWS coverage.
- You can check out each team’s projected 3 man starting rotation here. Yes, I said 3 man rotation. Last year’s CWS MVP, Jonah Nickerson, threw 323 pitches in a span of 8Â days (3 starts) toÂ leadÂ Oregon StateÂ to it’s first ever CWS Title.
- All of the CWS games will air on either ESPN or ESPN2; you can find the full TVÂ schedule here. For those of you stuck at work, CSTV.com will have each game available via it’s simply phenomenal GameTracker.
- The College Baseball Blog has posted a preview of each team, and will certainly be providing non-stop coverage of the event.
- Baseball America has a ton of CWS info, including previews, podcastsÂ and the Rosenblog.
In case you’re wondering, I’ll be tracking theÂ stats ofÂ the 3Â Yankee draftees who will be playing in the event (via Down on the Farm): Isaiah Howes, Louisville’s leftfielder/DH (11th round); and outfielders Taylor Holiday (19th) and Matt Morris (23rd), both of UC Irvine.
And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t link you to this clip of current Yankee prospect JB Cox closing out Texas’ CWS Title in 2005. You can also check out this cool highlight reelÂ of Texas’ March to the CWS Title (JB’s number 44, but I’m sure you knew that already).