College Baseball

College World Series 2012 Schedule: Postponement Assures Arkansas Victory

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 28:  Christian Walker #13 of the South Carolina Gamecocks at bat against the Florida Gators during game 2 of the men's 2011 NCAA College Baseball World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 28, 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2012

Playing an elimination game in the College World Series is tough enough, but playing one with another game looming on the same day is just unfair.

The winner of Kent State and South Carolina will have to do just that, as rain postponed their Wednesday-night matchup.

Now, the two teams play in Thursday's first game, and the winner will be forced to play Arkansas in the evening.

This gives the Razorbacks a huge advantage. They get to sit back and watch two teams fight for their lives while they relax. Mentally, and physically, this will be a huge factor.

Arkansas already holds an advantage. They are coming from the winner's bracket, and a loss wouldn't be fatal to their championship hopes. Their pitchers (No. 7 team ERA in the nation) will have a chance to scout each hitter that day.

This bizarre situation isn't a good thing.

Personally, I'd rather see a rested Gamecock, or Golden Flash, squad take on the Razorbacks. It would give a more genuine assessment of how good each team really is.

I don't want to see Arkansas beat up a mentally exhausted squad to advance, but that's the way things like this go.

You have to expect the unexpected in sports and, in this case, the unexpected will ensure a Razorback victory.

Kent State would have a tough time either way. Their bats do not match up well with Arkansas' prolific pitching. They managed to beat No. 1 seed Florida on Tuesday, but two games will exhaust them.

Their underdog run will come to a close.

South Carolina may be the two-time defending champion, but Michael Roth is being used in Thursday's first game. Without their best pitcher on the bump, the Gamecocks will have to increase their run output to win the game.

Either way it's a very good situation for the Razorbacks. They're a very good team playing nine innings while a lesser team will be forced to play 18 frames.

That's a steep hill to climb.

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