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2011 CWS Bracket One Preview

The College World Series kicks off later today with the Vanderbilt Commodores and North Carolina facing off. The Florida Gators and Texas Longhorns will play in the nightcap on the evening.

Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt enters the College World Series with a 52-10 record after going a perfect 6-0 record in the postseason. They defeated Belmont (twice) and Troy in the Regional. They followed that up with a sweep over Oregon State in the Nashville Super Regional. Leading the pitching rotation is junior RHP Sonny Gray who sports a 12-3 record and an ERA of 1.97 ERA. Junior LHP Grayson Garvin who was named the 2011 SEC Pitcher of the Year serves as the number two starter for the Commodores. He is 13-1 with a 2.36 ERA. Navery Moore serves as the closer with a 4-2 with a 1.21 ERA while also picking up 11 saves.

The Commodores are hitting at a .319 average which is tops in the SEC this season. Aaron Westlake is the best pure power hitter after hitting three homers in the deciding game of the Super Regionals against Oregon State. Tony Kemp is the sparkplug at the top of the lineup as he is hitting .325 with 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts. Anthony Gomez is also solid in the two hole moving runners along while hitting .343 with 45 RBI.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels enter the College World Series with a 50-14 overall record while also being a perfect 6-0 in the NCAA Tournament with victories over Maine and James Madison (twice) in the Regional while sweeping Stanford in the best of three Super Regionals. Senior RHP Patrick Johnson serves as the Tar Heels number 1 starter as he is 13-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 17 appearances (16 starts).  Freshman LHP Kent Emanuel has stepped right into the number 2 starter role and succeeding. He is 8-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 19 appearances (15 starts). Michael Morin has been the closer this year for the Tar Heels recording ten saves while having a ERA of 4.71.

The Tar Heels offense has a team batting average of .289 and is led by ACC Freshman of the Year Colin Moran. He has appeared in all 64 games on the year leading the team in all three triple crown categories with a .335 batting average, nine homers, and 69 RBI. Tommy Coyle is second on the team with a .318 batting average while hitting two homers with 36 RBI. Levi Michael, who was the 30th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, is third on the .300 batting average with five homers and 48 RBI.

Florida

The Gators enter the CWS with a 50-17 record and are 6-1 in the NCAA Tourney with victories over Manhattan and Miami (FL) twice in the Regionals. They had a tough Super Regional matchup with Mississippi State winning the first game before dropping the second and pulling out game 3 to return to Omaha for the second straight season. The Gators enter the weekend with a .311 team batting average while being led by sophomore catcher Mike Zunino. He was named the 2011 SEC Player of the Year after hitting .376 with 18 homers and 66 RBI. Daniel Pigott is also a potent bat with a .339 batting average while hitting five homers and driving in 39 runs. Preston Tucker is a power threat with 14 homers on the year with 68 RBI while hitting .314.

Hudson Randall has become the number 1 starter this season for the Gators as he is 10-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 17 starts. Brian Johnson has been cleared to play after suffering a head injury in the SEC tourney when he was struck in the head by an errant Mike Zunino throw down to second. He is 8-3 with a 3.66 ERA on the year. Austin Maddox has served as the team’s closer when healthy. He didn’t pitch last weekend against Mississippi State after suffering a foot injury but has accumulated five saves in 19 appearances.

Texas

The Texas Longhorns enter the weekend with a 49-17 overall record and 6-2 in the postseason. They are led by Taylor Jungmann who is 13-2 with a 1.38 ERA. He is on a two game losing streak though losing to both Kent State and Arizona State. Cole Green is expected to be the number 2 starter in Omaha as he is 8-3 with a 3.03 ERA. Freshman Corey Knebel is 3-2 with a 1.15 ERA with 19 saves.

Erich Weiss is the top hitter with a .358 average hitting four homers with 44 RBI. Brandon Loy is second on the team .344 batting average with homer and 30 RBI.