The College World Series 2010 is nearly at an end. Of course, the College World Series 2010 has more than one final game, just like the last several years. Just one national championship game isn’t enough for baseball, as they have to have a maximum of three these days. For the eighth straight year, the national championship will come down to a best-of-three, through Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. However, this College World Series 2010 final series is among the more unlikely in recent memory.
When the college baseball tournament began, there were eight national seeds. Now, it is down to one, as all the others were eliminated by Day 4 at Omaha. The one national seed left is a relative newcomer, as sixth-ranked UCLA is further than ever before.
The Bruins became College World Series 2010 favorites, despite making only their third appearance in Omaha, and first in over a decade. They got to their first ever finals by defeating Florida, and TCU twice, including a 10-3 win on Saturday. This makes UCLA favored over another team that’s never won it all.
The South Carolina Gamecocks have been even more unlikely College World Series 2010 finalists. The Gamecocks had to win four do-or-die games to get here, after losing their opener to Oklahoma. They survived being a strike from elimination in the rematch with the Sooners, then defeated arch-nemesis Clemson twice to reach the championship.
South Carolina also beat Clemson twice to reach the 2002 finals, which was their last championship game appearance. However, they lost to Texas in the last title match before the best-of-three format was introduced. For the College World Series 2010 final, South Carolina finally has some wiggle room, but they could forfeit it if they lost today.
A loss to UCLA in Game 1 would put South Carolina a loss from elimination again. By that pattern, if the Gamecocks lose, they’d have the Bruins where they want them. Yet, actually having two chances to win the College World Series 2010 would be easier.
In this series, pitching will likely be the main story. The Bruins have had a dominant staff on full rest, led by Gerrit Cole, Rob Rasmussen and Trevor Bauer. Still, the Gamecocks have the lowest ERA in Omaha, but their hurlers are less rested. Reliever Michael Roth may have to play a part, as he did in his three-hit complete game against Clemson on Friday.
The College World Series 2010 finals were already historic as the last games in Rosenblatt Stadium. Now, they will also crown a first-time national champion, whether it is the Bruins or Gamecocks. They will start to find out in tonight’s Game 1, at 7:30 p.m. est on ESPN.
USA TODAY- “UCLA, South Carolina on prowl for College World Series title”
ESPN- “Bruins and Gamecocks face off for title”