The finale to the college baseball season is just around the corner, as the 2014 College World Series tournament is just one game away from the finals.
Four teams remain alive, but only two will advance past play on Saturday. Ole Miss and Virginia will finish a rain-shortened game from Friday, with the winner advancing to the finals.
Texas and Vanderbilt will also play Saturday, and the victor will move on to face the winner of the other matchup. Omaha, Nebraska, has been home to exciting baseball so far, and with just a few games remaining, there's still more in store.
Below you'll find an updated schedule, bracket and outlook for the College World Series final. Don't miss a single pitch of the action.
|Game||Date||Time (ET)||Result||TV Info|
|Ole Miss vs. Virginia||June 21||3 p.m.||Suspended Play, 0-0 after 1||ESPN2|
|Texas vs. Vanderbilt||June 21||8 p.m.||TBD||ESPN|
|CWS Finals: Game 1||June 23||8 p.m.||TBD||ESPN|
|CWS Finals: Game 2||June 24||8 p.m.||TBD||ESPN|
|CWS Finals: Game 3*||June 25||8 p.m.||TBD||ESPN|
An updated bracket can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com.
This is why Ole Miss and Virginia had to suspend play after just one inning last night:
Starting to flood the outfield.. Dugouts full of water. pic.twitter.com/89J4G5SVPQ— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) June 21, 2014
RT @CraigNigrelli: Thunderstorm moving into Omaha right now. Ryan McPike on the air. Says quarter size hail in spots.— College World Series (@cwsupdates) June 21, 2014
Yeah, quarter-sized hail isn't conducive to safely playing baseball.
While the delay really doesn't help or hurt either team, it should allow Ole Miss to re-group after allowing two hits in the opening frame to the Cavaliers. The Cavs are known mostly for their standout pitchers, but the bats can come alive from time to time as well.
After getting the jitters out last night, the Rebels should come back strong Saturday and make things interesting. I'm still not so sure they can win, however.
Virginia is fantastic. The Cavs were the preseason No. 1 for a reason, and not even a poor finish to the season could drop them past No. 3 in the nation. This team has the pitching and timely hitting to go places.
In the finals, Virginia would rely on starter Nathan Kirby and reliever Nick Howard. Howard was selected in Round 1 of the 2014 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Kirby will likely be a first-rounder next year, opines Jim Callis of MLB.com:
Texas dominated Vanderbilt on Friday on the strength of eight incredible innings from Nathan Thornhill. Should they get past Vanderbilt on Saturday and move on, the Longhorns will have the pitching necessary to contend with Virginia's top arms.
Just take a look at these numbers provided by Texas Baseball's official Twitter account:
In the CWS, Texas starters Nathan Thornhill, Parker French and Chad Hollingsworth have a combined 0.87 ERA in 31 IP pic.twitter.com/OotPddQ0eY— Texas Baseball (@Texas_Baseball) June 21, 2014
A Virginia vs. Texas final would be a dream matchup for college baseball fans. Dominant pitching would steal the show, and it would be an extremely competitive series. Plus, a Game 3 do-or-die matchup of Thornhill and Kirby could be in the works.
While anything can happen Saturday, look for Virginia and Texas to advance and play in the CWS finals.