And so there were eight. The 2015 College World Series has reached Omaha and will begin play on Saturday, June 13, from TD Ameritrade Park.
Last year's championship participants remain as Vanderbilt looks to pull off the repeat, while Virginia tries to make it to the promised land.
Here is the TV schedule and predictions for all the action from Omaha.
|2015 College World Series TV Schedule|
|Saturday, June 13, 3 p.m. ET||Virginia||Arkansas||ESPN||Virginia 4-3|
|Saturday, June 13, 8 p.m. ET||Miami (FL)||Florida||ESPN||Miami 7-5|
|Sunday, June 14, 3 p.m. ET||TCU||LSU||ESPN||LSU 4-1|
|Sunday, June 14, 8 p.m. ET||Cal State Fullerton||Vanderbilt||ESPN||Vanderbilt 6-1|
Virginia vs. Arkansas
Virginia won a pair of close games in the Super Regionals against Maryland to make it to the College World Series, while Arkansas saw an 18-run outburst in its first game against Missouri State make way for a pair of nail-biters as it outlasted the Bears in three.
With its pair of wins coming in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, Virginia has shown that clutch runs deep within its lineup, something invaluable for the Cavaliers to bring to Omaha.
Left-fielder Kevin Doherty provided four of Virginia's 10 runs scored in the Super Regionals. Watch for him to continue the scoring output.
For Arkansas' success, look no further than Andrew Benintendi. With a .380 average and 19 home runs, the Razorbacks scored three runs in Games 2 and 3 of the Super Regionals while he was ineffective.
It was the pitching, especially in Game 3, that held the Arkansas lead after the Razorbacks scored three runs in the first inning.
If his bat can go, so can Arkansas.
Miami vs. Florida
The University of Florida plays its second consecutive in-state opponent. After handling Florida State handily, it has a huge test in No. 5-ranked Miami.
The Gators have combined for 24 runs in their past two games, while Miami's one-run win against 99th-ranked VCU in their first game was followed by a comfortable 10-3 triumph.
With the best RPI in the nation, Miami is no stranger to difficult opponents. Having already played the Gators this year, it dropped two of three in February.
Florida catcher JJ Schwarz continues his stellar play, going 5-for-7 with five RBI in the Super Regionals against Florida State.
Miami's .311 ranks sixth in the nation and only trails LSU of remaining teams in the College World Series.
TCU vs. LSU
TCU is deserving of the week off between Super Regionals and the College World Series. After a 16-inning thriller in which it defeated Texas A&M to advance, the Horned Frogs don't exactly get a break.
Waiting for them is the best team in the nation, LSU. The Tigers did not get past Louisiana-Lafayette in the most convincing fashion, and they might be frustrated with TCU's pitching prowess, but the Tigers are the best team in the nation for a reason. LSU head coach Paul Mainieri spoke with WWL's Deke Bellavia.
It’s hard to hit a baseball. A lot of times these young men are in pressure situations and it makes it even tougher to hit the baseball. We’ve been able to make the timely hits, and in games in which our bats are not as good as we would like, we’ve been getting great pitching.
LSU holds the fourth-best team batting average in the nation with .316 and the 10th-best team ERA at 2.84. TCU's team ERA tops LSU's at 2.38 but will be tested against such a potent offense.
Cal State Fullerton vs. Vanderbilt
The defending national champions are back in the College World Series after getting past a pitching-savvy Illinois side. They'll be taking on a Cal State Fullerton team that won two straight after dropping its first game to Louisville.
Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson is already having himself a week after being drafted first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks on the same day as clinching a spot in the College World Series. Batting .352 with 15 home runs, Swanson has plenty of help from a gifted supporting cast.
Rhett Wiseman, who was drafted by the Washington Nationals, and Zander Wiel each had 14 home runs entering postseason play.