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Day One CWS Recap with a Preview of Day Two’s Match-ups

Day One Recap with a Preview of Day Two’s Match-ups

The College World Series is finally here! It kicked off on Friday the 15th with some excellent baseball. Here are point-by-point breakdowns of each game with a preview of day two’s match-ups.

Stony Brook vs. UCLA
UCLA defeated Stony Brook 9-1

UCLA is one of the most composed teams in the country at the plate
It’s something that the Bruins have shown all year, but perhaps it was most evident in game one as UCLA showed extreme discipline at the plate. This composure allowed UCLA to break down an extremely talented and successful starting pitcher in Stony Brook’s Tyler Johnson, and ultimately advance to the winner’s bracket.

The game was much more competitive than the score leads you to believe
Any 9-1 game will seem like a blowout, but the scoreboard only says so much. It’s not that the game was necessarily closer than the score leads on, but it was definitely more competitive. UCLA did not just steamroll over Stony Brook, as mentioned in the previous point, they really needed their composure in game one and had to fight through at bats to get the pitches that they wanted. Stony Brook also had some great opportunities to close in on UCLA that just didn’t go their way. It’s part of baseball…but UCLA came out on top more often in those close situations.

Stony Brook’s top of the order struggled at the plate going a combined 1 for 12
Any time the top of the order struggles it’s going to be difficult to get something going offensively and Stony Brook saw that happen yesterday. Stony Brook lead the country in hits this season, so being held to just five is out of the ordinary for the Seawolves.

Adam Plutko’s fastball is the real deal
Prior to this season, the big question for UCLA was how effective would their pitching be with the loss of Cole and Bauer. Now, there’s no question that pitching is far from an issue for the Bruins. Especially with Adam Plutko as their ace. In game one Plutko’s fastball was brutal for even the Seawolves’ best hitters helping him strikeout seven.

Crowd support for Stony Brook
It’s been known for CWS fans to adopt teams that are making their first trip to Omaha and Stony Brook is no different. TD Ameritrade Park was full of red as game one kicked off and the crowd really rallied around the Seawolves…part of the reason that you won’t find a better baseball atmosphere in the country than in Omaha.

Arizona vs. Florida State
Arizona defeated Florida State 4-3 in 12 innings

Both Arizona and Florida State are the real deal
If going twelve innings of outstanding baseball in your CWS opener doesn’t prove that you deserve to be there then there’s a question as to what would. In game two, Arizona and Florida State did just that, providing an extremely competitive and enjoyable baseball game. Emotions were high in both dugouts throughout the game and the level of play on the field didn’t drop either. It was baseball at its finest.

From the first pitch to the last…
Part of the reason that game two was such an outstanding ball game is because both teams clearly played their hearts out from the first pitch to the last. It was one of those baseball games where both teams were playing so well that it was hard to see either team take the loss after that caliber of play. Florida State head coach Mike Martin summed it up best: “Our guys fought like crazy. We just happened to come up short.”

Freshman really stepped up and played big roles
For both Arizona and Florida State, several freshmen contributed a lot. For Arizona, catcher Riley Moore had three hits and freshmen pitchers Tyler Crawford and Mathew Troupe relieved and closed the game out for the Wildcats. The Seminoles starting pitcher for game two, Brandon Leibrandt, is a freshman as well as Josh Delph and John Holland who both had big hits for Florida State.

Preparation for what’s to come
After a game as invigorating and competitive as that, both Florida State and Arizona developed in high-pressure situations. If anything, a game like that will only help the two teams as they move on to Sunday’s games. Florida State will face Stony Brook and UCLA will face Arizona for a Pac-12 duel.

Looking at Day Two’s Games

Arkansas vs. Kent State
Arkansas and Kent State face off in a very intriguing match-up. Both teams had longer untraditional routes of getting to Omaha. Arkansas was a two seed heading into regionals and Kent State was a three seed. Arkansas had the winning run walked in during supers to give them the opportunity to get to Omaha. Kent State played 21 innings in Gary, IN against Kentucky to start their post-season play. Perhaps the most captivating part of both teams is that they both possess the “never give up” mentality. With that approach and mindset it’s bound to be a good one between the Golden Flashes and the Razorbacks.

Florida vs. South Carolina
This game may be one of the most highly anticipated games in this year’s College World Series. Florida enters this game as the number one national seed, South Carolina enters the game as back-to-back defending national champions with the longest post season winning streak in NCAA tournament history…a streak that’s been alive since June 22, 2010. The SEC powerhouses have both been outstanding all year, peaking at the right time, to ensure that this game will be a show down between two of the most buzzed about programs in the country this season.

Excited for the games now? We are too!
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