The 2011 College World Series begins in Omaha, Nebraska Saturday afternoon, with the Vanderbilt Commodores battling the North Carolina Tar Heels in Game 1. For the first time in 60 years the participating teams will not play in Rosenblatt Stadium, as it has been replaced by TD Ameritrade Park. The 2011 edition of the College World Series is the 65th overall, with 62 of the events having been held in Omaha. A quick look at Saturday's match-ups:
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. North Carolina Tar Heels: North Carolina has a balanced and patient lineup, one that averaged 7.0 runs per game (19th in country) and drew 340 walks (second in country). Vanderbilt, in the College World Series for the first time in school history, counters with a pitching staff led by second team All American and SEC pitcher of the year Grayson Garvin. Garvin, a supplemental first round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, is the first pitcher to ever go 10-0 in the SEC. (2:00 P.M., ESPN/ESPN3.com)
Texas Longhorn vs. Florida Gators: The Gators are absolute mashers at the plate, clobbering 67 home runs as a team in 2011, good for fifth in the NCAA. The Gators also ranked 16th in batting average and 12th in runs. The Longhorns are built on pitching and defense (only Virginia allowed fewer runs than Texas), and with their small ball approach could easily be confused with a National League ballclub. (7:00 P.M., ESPN/ESPN3.com)
The Virginia Cavaliers, one strike from missing the College World Series all together before Chris Taylor's dramatic hit, play Sunday at 2:00 P.M. against the University of California Bears. Head here for complete 2011 College World Series coverage. For more Virginia sports, join Streaking The Lawn.