2008 College World Series: Surprises Becoming Not Surprisingly

Corey GautreauxSenior Analyst IJune 18, 2008

Game 1: Stanford vs. Florida State

Tied at five going into the ninth, Stanford appeared to take the lead when the first base umpire completely blew a “foul” call. Replays clearly showed the ball was fair, chalk was knocked up, and it really wasn’t close. Stanford was able to rally for 11 runs despite the blown call, to win 16-5.

Game 2: Georgia vs. Miami

The Bulldogs trailed 4-5 going into the ninth, but posted a four run rally to beat the top-seeded Miami Hurricanes 7-4. Georgia led off the ninth with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to second. The next batter struck out, but thanks to a wild pitch reached safely at first. A single to left tied the game at four. The next batter lined a hit back to the pitcher, who committed a throwing error to first that allowed two runs to score. The Bulldog’s final run came on a single to left.

Game 3: Fresno State vs. Rice 

Fresno State was supposed to be just lucky to be there, but the Bulldogs dominated Rice 17-5 to advance to the winner’s bracket. Fresno State pounded out 13 hits, including three homeruns. Rice was able to connect with 10 hits, but was only able to get five of their runners across home plate.

Game 4: LSU vs. North Carolina

The Tigers led off the game with a homerun, but the Tar Heels bounced back with 17 hits to win the game 8-4. The Tigers fought back to load the bases with no one out in the eighth. LSU’s homerun leader struck out, and Jared Mitchell knocked a ball to short. North Carolina attempted to turn the double play but Mitchell clearly beat the throw by a step. First base umpire called Mitchell out, ending LSU’s rally and allowing the umpires to ruin their second potential comeback of the postseason. It was also the second blatantly blown call of the CWS.

Game 5: Florida State vs. Miami

In-state rivals battled back-and-forth before Miami finally recorded the third out in the ninth, after allowing three runs to score, to end the game 7-5. Florida State was able to knock out 18 hits, but left 17 runners stranded. Miami scored their seven runs on 11 hits. This year marked the fourth consecutive year that Florida State went 0-2 in the CWS. This was Florida State’s 20thappearance in the CWS and their streak of no national title will continue.

Game 6: Stanford vs. Georgia

Georgia trailed 3-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, but scored two runs in that frame to take a 4-3 lead. Georgia held off Stanford to win the game by the same score. The last time the Bulldogs started the CWS 2-0 was in 1990, the year they won their only national championship. Georgia has a break until Friday, where they will have a rematch with either Miami or Stanford. The Bulldogs need one more win to advance to the CWS championship series.

Game 7: LSU vs. Rice

The Tigers did it again in dramatic fashion by putting together four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to eliminate the Rice owls 6-5 on Tuesday evening. The Tigers trailed 5-0 in the seventh, when a balk was called that allowed a run to score. The Tigers also scored a run in the eighth to cut the game to 5-2. After a controversial play at the plate, the Tigers eight inning threat was ended. The Owl catcher appeared to have blocked the plate before catching the ball and the collision knocked the ball loose. The ball stayed close enough for the catcher to make the tag before the runner was able to touch home. The Tigers led off the ninth with an out, but things got interesting after that. The Tigers hit a single up the middle and the next batter was hit by a pitch. A single to centerfield loaded the bases. The Tigers then hit a ground ball to short where the Owl player bobbled it allowing a runner to score and keeping the bases loaded. A three-RBI bases clearing double on a 1-0 count lifted the Tigers to a 6-5 victory.

Game 8: Fresno State vs. North Carolina

The Bulldogs continued their Cinderella season with a 5-3 victory over the Tar Heels to advance to the winner’s bracket of the CWS. Fresno State entered the CWS as the only No. 4 Regional seed ever to do so. The Bulldogs are now 2-0, and get to rest up until a Friday night contest against the winner of the LSU-North Carolina rematch. Fresno State will need one victory in a potential two game series to advance to the CWS championship series.