The Best Baseball is Barely Being Watched

Alliteration aside, I feel very strongly that the best baseball being played right now, isn’t being watched as much as it should be. ESPN2 has been carrying the College World Series from Omaha, Nebraska, but, as usual, not enough people are giving college baseball the love it deserves.

Not only is the sound of the metal bat a refreshing summer noise, but the balls-out effort and non-stop hustle remind you of what athletics is all about. As people watched a team in Purple and Gold get pummeled and pretty much give up a few days ago, 18-23 year old kids who still only dream of making it to the big stage were grinding it out on the field.

So far in this years World Series, I have seen more late-inning, come from behind games that any year I can remember. Just the other day Georgia came back to grab a 4-3 win over Stanford and LSU scored three runs on a double in the bottom of the 9th to eliminate favored Rice. That doesn’t even account for the biggest surprise of the postseason, which is Fresno State. A team that was ranked 4th in their Regional (I’l explain later) and hasn’t lost a game on their way to being in the finals of their bracket in Omaha. They’re the first #4 Regional Seed to make the World Series and now have a legitimate shot of taking home the crown. It’s like last years run by the Rockies, but times four. 

For those who may not know how college baseball’s postseason is set up, here it goes. After the regular season the NCAA gives automatic bids to conference winners and at-large bids (like the NCAA basketball tournament). They set up Regionals, each consisting of four teams, clearly made up by the region of the country they are from. These teams face off in a double elimination tournament, the winner advancing (Fresno State was a #4 seed in their own region, which means they were deemed one of the worst teams to even make the postseason, thats around 60 teams!) The winners from each regional then face off in a best of three series with another team from a nearby region, the winner advancing. That leaves 8 teams who qualify for the World Series, which is another double elimination tournament split into two, four-team brackets.

As it stands right now Georgia, the #8 seed in the country, and Fresno St. are the only teams at 2-0. LSU and North Carolina, both 1-1, will face off today at 7 PM to see who gets to play Fresno St. Now, because Fresno and Georgia are 2-0 and this is a double elimination tournament, the winner of tonights game and Stanford, who is 2-1 and plays Georgia on Friday, will have to win twice to advance to the championship.

With ESPN doing the right thing and covering the games, its time baseball fans do the right thing and tune in. This is baseball at its finest. These kids are playing with pure passion and no desire other than to win the game. I saw Miami’s RF, Raben, make three diving catches and 1 catch into the wall in one game. It’s hustle that you just don’t see on the field in every MLB game. It’s a joy to watch and I felt it my duty to try and get more people to tune in. You won’t be disappointed.


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