Image Credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik
The stage is set for the 2012 College World Series and there will be two four-team brackets. The first bracket consists of Cinderella story Stony Brook, UCLA, Arizona and Florida State. The second bracket features its own Cinderella, Kent State, and College World Series regulars Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida. The 2012 College World Series will be held in none other than Omaha, Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park. Many exciting matchups and teams will take the field in this year’s 2012 College World Series including:
Stony Brook: Stony Brook and Butler now have a little in common: Stony Brook has become the Cinderella in the 2012 College World Series, but don’t tell these guys. Stony Brook breezed through the Coral Gables Regional, knocking off a superpower of college baseball, the Miami Hurricanes, and then LSU in a dominant 7-2 victory in the Baton Rouge Supper Regional. Stony Brook defeated LSU in Baton Rouge, one of the toughest places to steal a win in college baseball, from the home-town LSU Tigers. Leading the way for Stony Brook against LSU was Sophomore Frankie Vanderka, throwing a complete game, while allowing just three hits in nine innings pitched. Travis Jankowski added four hits and trotted across home plate twice to add two runs. Jankowski, out of Lancaster PA, has been phenomenal for the Seawolves all season, playing a huge role in Stony Brooks success up to this point. His stellar performance throughout the 2012 College Baseball World Series and the regular season has earned him a First-Team All-American vote by the National College Baseball Writers Association. Travis also added to a wonderful 2012 College Baseball season for himself by being drafted 44th overall in the first round of the MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres.
UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles will look to end Stony Brook’s Cinderella run in this year’s 2012 College World Series of Baseball. UCLA has delivered absolutely dominate performances on their way through to the 2012 College World Series. UCLA defeated Creighton and New Mexico in the Los Angeles Regional division, and a tough TCU team in the Los Angeles Super Regional. The University of California, Los Angeles team has had a seemingly easier run to Omaha compared to Stony Brook, but this does not mean they are not the real deal. UCLA made their way through the 2012 season with a true team effort: five Buins hit over .300, and Jeff Gelalich and Beau Amaral lead the way with 46 and 45 RBIs respectively. On the mound, after losing two players to the 2011 MLB Draft, the Bruins are doing just fine. Starters Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig have been a dynamic duo in 2012, recording 11 and 10 wins respectively. The team’s anchored by the exceptional closing abilities of Scott Griggs, who recorded 15 saves on the year for himself.
Arizona: Arizona does not seem to have a cruise control button on their steam roller this year, winning every game of the Tucson Regional by more than 12 runs. They then defeated what looked to be a powerful St. John’s squad in just two games on their road to the 2012 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. The Arizona Wildcats head coach Andy Lopez has had success against Florida St. in the past. Lopez, while coaching for the Florida Gators from 1995 to 2001, recorded a 13-15 recorded vs. the Seminoles, including knocking off Florida St. in the 1996 College World Series. Current head coach Mike Martin of Florida, who was also coach in the 1996 College World Series, was quoted after this defeat as saying “In all honesty, I don’t see how Andy Lopez did what he did in two years, It’s unbelievable. That’s one of the major accomplishments in college baseball. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.” Andy Lopez will look to repeat this success in the 2012 College World Series with the Arizona Wildcats. The Big Bats of Arizona, with an unprecedented 5 players batting over .350, look to lead the way, along with the pitching of Kurt Heyer, who has recorded 12 wins and a 2.28 ERA.
Florida State: Florida State grinded their way through the Tallahassee Regional against UAB and Samford, en route to the Tallahassee Super Regional. In the Super Regional though, Florida St. kicked it into overdrive. The Seminoles absolutely crushed the opposing Stanford squad, recording 17-1 and 18-7 victories, in a two-game sweep. This domination of Stanford punched the CWS ticket for coaching legend Mike Martin’s squad in his 33rd season with the Florida State Seminoles. Martin looks to change past luck Florida St. has had against Arizona, including the 1980 College World Series, when the Wildcats defeated the Seminoles in the early rounds on their way to the title. Also in 1986, the Wildcats defeated FSU 10-2, winning that year’s title as well. Arizona won the most recent meeting in 1991, beating Florida St. in two games of a three-game series in Tucson. This year the Seminoles are led by the huge bats of Jayce Boyd and James Ramsey, sporting impressive batting averages of .389 and .382 respectively. Ramsey tallied 13 home runs this season. The pitching has also proved to be one of the Seminoles strong points, with only one pitcher having more than one loss throughout the season, including Mike Compton going 6-1 and Robert Benincasa going 4-0 with only a .47 ERA.
Kent State: Kent State will be making their first ever appearance in the College World Series this year, among a lot of familiar faces, coming out of the Gary Regional. The Golden Flashes received their invitation to the 2012 College World Series after defeating Oregon, in a hard-fought series, where they took Game 3 in a 3-2 victory over the Ducks. Jimmy Rider won the game in the 9th inning for Kent St, driving in the winning run with a shallow pop fly that just barely landed in fair territory. The Golden Flashes look to make a strong push for the College Baseball Championship behind the sluggers George Roberts and Jimmy Rider. Although this is their first appearance in the College World Series, Omaha will welcome Kent St. with open arms. The Golden Flashes may be considered underdogs, but there is no lack of support or belief in this talented group, as they will be shooting for nothing less than a championship.
Arkansas: Arkansas finished out the season with an impressive 44 wins, but will look to avoid being upset by Kent State, after barely surviving their first two rounds. Arkansas, after losing their first game to Baylor, rallied to knock off the Bears. The Diamond Hogs won their final two games by one run each, receiving their trip to Omaha for the 2012 College World Series of Baseball in nail-biting fashion. However, after many College World Series appearances, the Razorbacks look to take home their first baseball national championship. They look to do this behind their consistent, yet not very deep bullpen, including Brandon Moore, Ryne Stanek and DJ Baxendale.
South Carolina: South Carolina is on the hunt for their third straight College World Series Championship. In the Columbia Regional, South Carolina faced a tough test in Clemson, who could not edge past the two-time defending champion Gamecocks. After defeating Clemson though, the Gamecocks put it on cruise control, with a been there, done that attitude, defeating Oklahoma in two games with decisive 4 and 5-run victories. The Gamecocks have looked unbeatable over the past few years in the College World Series, but this year they walk in with a huge target on their back. Michael Roth will look to carry the Gamecocks, with a 2.5 ERA in over 115 innings pitched this season. He recorded only one loss. Although South Carolina has not dominated this season, no one can deny the fact that this team knows how to win championships, and they will be the team to beat this year.
Florida: The Florida Gators are presented with the tough task of knocking out the two-time defending College World Series Champions, the South Carolina Gamecocks, in the 2012 College World Series. If there is any team that can knock off this Gamecocks squad though, it most certainly could be the Florida Gators. The Gators glided through the Gainesville Regional, ending with a 15-3 victory over Georgia Tech. The Gators then continued on to defeat the powerful NC State squad in just two games, solidifying their bid into the 2012 championship series.
2012 College World Series Tickets
|Date||College World Series Schedule||Venue||City||State||Avg Price|
|6/15/12||College World Series Tickets – All Sessions||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$1,035.00|
|6/15/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$71.07|
|6/15/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$81.33|
|6/16/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$133.12|
|6/16/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$103.02|
|6/17/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$96.75|
|6/17/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$77.04|
|6/18/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$93.68|
|6/18/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$85.43|
|6/19/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$106.46|
|6/20/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$100.69|
|6/21/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$98.27|
|6/21/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$102.17|
|6/22/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$78.00|
|6/22/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$82.66|
|6/24/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$155.25|
|6/25/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$149.80|
|6/26/12||College World Series Tickets||TD Ameritrade Park||Omaha||NE||$136.66|