After the first four games at the 2013 College World Series, there’s absolutely no way that you can afford to miss one of the remaining matchups.
The opening round in Omaha had it all. It had a ton of fantastic pitching performances, tightly knit games, near blown saves and upsets on upsets. Two days of college baseball provided four of the best games all year long. Luckily for you, there’s still plenty more to come.
There will be at least 10 more contests at the College World Series and potentially as many as 13. Each will be a must-watch game that’s bound to be decided by just a few runs. Fortunately, every remaining game will be televised on one of ESPN’s series of networks, making it easy for everyone to tune in.
Here’s a look at the TV schedule for all of the games left at Omaha, a look at the tournament’s top pitcher thus far and a trend that formed over the weekend.
Complete College World Series TV Schedule (provided by Sporting News)
|5||Mon., June 17||3 p.m.||Oregon St.||Louisville||ESPN 2|
|6||Mon., June 17||8 p.m.||Mississippi St.||Indiana||ESPN 2|
|7||Tues., June 18||3 p.m.||UNC||LSU||ESPN|
|8||Tues., June 18||8 p.m.||NC St.||UCLA||ESPN (TBA)|
|9||Wed., June 19||8 p.m.||Game 6 Loser||Game 5 Winner||ESPN|
|10||Thurs., June 20||8 p.m.||Game 8 Loser||Game 7 Winner||ESPN|
|11||Fri., June 21||3 p.m.||Game 6 Winner||Game 9 Winner||ESPN|
|12||Fri., June 21||8 p.m.||Game 8 Winner||Game 10 Winner||ESPN|
|13||Sat., June 22*||TBA||Game 11 Winner||Game 11 Loser||ESPN (TBA)|
|14||Sat., June 22*||8:30 p.m.||Game 12 Winner||Game 12 Loser||ESPN|
|F1||Mon., June 24||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner||ESPN|
|F2||Tues., June 25||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner||ESPN|
|F3||Wed., June 26*||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner||ESPN|
Player to Watch: Adam Plutko, RHP, UCLA
Adam Plutko proved Sunday night that there isn’t a team in the nation that he’s afraid of. Plutko pitched an absolute gem against LSU, a program that’s one of the best remaining at the College World Series.
Plutko went seven innings for the Bruins, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out two and walking a pair. The right-hander has been UCLA’s ace all year long, as he’s now 9-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 18 starts. In 118 innings of work, Plutko has 79 strikeouts and just 29 walks. His command is uncanny.
While Plutko wasn’t blowing LSU batters away on Sunday—hitting anywhere from 88 to 91 on the gun with his fastball—he knew how to retire them. Pluto pitched to contact all night long and it couldn’t have worked out better. Many batters flied out and others couldn’t do much besides hit the ball on the ground right at a fielder.
Plutko wasn’t one to brag after the game and told the Associated Press, via USA Today, that he was just happy to come away with a win against such a tough opponent.
I think we’ve been kind of flying under the radar all year long. We always talk about how we want to play out game. We don’t play the opponent, we play our game. Finally, we just we were lucky enough to break them down a bit.
An 11th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 2013 MLB draft, Plutko got the job done to send the Bruins into the winner’s bracket, and UCLA’s victory against LSU could go along way later in the tournament.
Plutko is the real deal and everyone in Omaha now knows that. He’ll likely take the mound again after UCLA’s next game against NC State, whether it is in the bracket finals—meaning UCLA wins—or in the bracket semifinals—meaning UCLA loses. Either way, we should get to see Plutko on the mound at least once more.
Key Storyline: Upset City
Not one game in Omaha thus far has gone the way many expected it to.
UNC, Oregon St. and LSU are the three nationally ranked teams at the College World Series and none of them played each other—but all three still lost. Louisville, who is one of the best and more underrated teams in Omaha, got shut out.
LSU is arguably the top team in the country, but the Tigers couldn't do anything against Plutko and UCLA. UNC is the top-ranked team in the country, yet the Tar Heels got crushed against NC State. Maybe the underdogs are just willing their way to victory, or maybe the favorites simply can’t get the job done.
Either way, the first round is about as important as any at the College World Series because one loss can change everything. It puts losing teams in a major hole, as the programs are then just a loss away from getting ousted.
Most of the teams with great chances to win the National Championship now have better odds to go home early. Either LSU or UNC is going home after Monday and there’s a solid chance that Oregon St. gets bounced from Omaha as well. And it’s all because teams who they might beat 9-of-10 times upended them.