banner
North Carolina

Carolina opens up against Vandy in new CWS stadium

Posted June 18, 2011

— The College World Series opens at the new TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday after 61 years at Rosenblatt Stadium, and coaches are doing all they can to keep their players focused on what happens between the lines.

There's a lot of CWS experience in the eight-team field, with defending champion South Carolina and 34-time qualifier Texas among the entries. Still, the glitz of the $131 million stadium is bringing out the nerves — and not just in first-timer Vanderbilt and a California team that hasn't been to Omaha in two decades.

Longhorns coach Augie Garrido met with his wide-eyed players in the outfield at practice Friday and said he gave a speech like the one in the movie "Hoosiers" in which the coach measures the basketball hoop to make sure his team knows the venue shouldn't overshadow the game.

"Hey, there's a diamond inside all this other stuff. That's where we know how to play," Garrido said. "The rest of it surrounds it and embraces it. But it was a little bit overwhelming, and in a very positive way. It's a great endorsement for the future of college baseball."

The CWS opens with Vanderbilt (52-10) playing North Carolina (50-14) and Texas (49-17) meeting Florida (50-17) on Saturday night. Sunday's games match California (37-21) against No. 1 national seed Virginia (54-10) followed by Texas A&M (47-20) against South Carolina (50-14).

North Carolina catcher Jacob Stallings, who played in the CWS at Rosenblatt as a freshman in 2009, will be behind the plate for the first official pitch at the new stadium. That'll come from Patrick Johnson (13-1, 2.27 ERA) after former President George W. Bush delivers the ceremonial first pitch.

"This place, geez, it's a big-league park," Stallings said. "That's what I said when I walked in. The old Rosenblatt has a ton of history but this place is just unbelievable. State of the art. It's overwhelming."

Sonny Gray (12-3, 1.97) will start for Vanderbilt (52-10), which broke through with its first CWS berth after losing a three-game super regional last year. The Commodores and Tar Heels, both 5-0 in the NCAA tournament, will meet for the first time.

"I thought this group could take a step forward," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "We're fortunate to play here, and it's a relief for some people. Now that we're here, we just want to play ball."

Texas ace Taylor Jungmann (13-2, 1.38), the Milwaukee Brewers' first-round draft pick, will try to bounce back from a couple of rocky postseason outings against a Florida team that has hit a nation-leading 67 home runs.

Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan said his team should be able to adjust to the spaciousness of TD Ameritrade Park, which has the same dimensions as Rosenblatt and is similar to the site of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala.

"We did some things differently there than we had been all year long," he said. "We bunted a bit more, we hit-and-run a bit more. We needed to manufacture some runs. We've got that capability. The bottom line is that we have to somehow figure out a way to get leadoff men on and get to one of the best pitchers in college baseball."

The Longhorns are built on pitching and defense. Garrido joked that his offense is so impotent that the NCAA won't need to inspect his team's bats before games to make sure they conform to new specifications. The Longhorns are batting .272 and have hit just 17 home runs in 66 games.

"We'll just have to find a way to score a run every now and then," Garrido said. "Kevin's got more guys with home runs than our team."

Cal's appearance caps a season that started with its baseball program on the chopping block, only to be saved by a $9 million fundraising effort. The Bears, who won the first CWS in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Mich., haven't made it this far since 1992.

"Any morning you can wake up in Omaha it's a great day," Cal coach David Esquer said.

Virginia survived a three-game super regional against UC Irvine in which it rallied with two out in the ninth inning to advance to Omaha. The Cavaliers are trying to become the first No. 1 national seed since Miami in 1999 to win it all.

"Any club can win it," Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said. "It's a matter of who gets hot at the right time. Hopefully, that's us."

Texas A&M was the only road team to win a super regional, beating Florida State in three games. The Aggies have survived despite losing ace John Stilson, who tore his labrum before the NCAA tournament.

Ross Stripling (14-2, 2.29) will start against South Carolina's Michael Roth (13-3, 1.02), one of the heroes of last year's CWS. A reliever, he was called on to make two starts that helped South Carolina become the first team to win six straight games in a single CWS.

Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner hopes for a smoother ride this time.

"We're a kind of club that a lot of times when people play us, they don't think we're very good," Tanner said. "We win our share."

16 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • wlcat609 Jun 18, 6:12 p.m.

    Just over...final Vandy 7 UNC 3. UNC came up empty on their opener. UNC got a false sense of seecurity in their two 'weak' opponents regionals. This wasn't Maine, JMU, FIU or Stanford today nor were they playing in friendly Boshamer Stadium. Heels had a 3 - 2 lead but couldn't hold it.

    Poor offense was the down fall - Heels left 16 runners stranded and were only 3 for 18 with runners in scoring position...and with runners in scoring position the Heel batters struck out 7 times.

    Heels now have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel - they must play the loser of the Texas - Florida game Monday at 2 p.m. This trip to Omaha may be short lived.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 18, 6:01 p.m.

    I was on the beach until a little while ago and missed the game. Is what ESPN reports correct? ... View More

    — Posted by FAN72

    I don't think ESPN is just messing with you.

    I checked in a while ago and it was 5-3 Vandy in the 7th. So 7-3 in the ninth sounds plausible.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 18, 5:57 p.m.

    GO VANDY!!! ;)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    I'm excited~!
    what time does the pack play?

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    In spite of your snipe, good luck to your Heels today.

    — Posted by tommybrownnc

    I know, that was just RUDE!

    Typical Carolina fan for you! ;)

  • FAN72 Jun 18, 5:57 p.m.

    I was on the beach until a little while ago and missed the game. Is what ESPN reports correct? Is Vandy really leading 7-3 in the bottom of the 9th? They are just messing with us, right?

  • BlueForever Jun 18, 5:39 p.m.

    perhaps there is some explanation why Fox saves his pitchers for what? loser bracket? rather than substituting them in when his starting pitcher starts faltering? Sixth inning may have been much different if another pitcher had been put in. WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR OTHER PITCHERS FOR???!!

  • StunGunn Jun 18, 4:56 p.m.

    GO VANDY!!! ;)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    I'm excited~!
    what time does the pack play?

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    In spite of your snipe, good luck to your Heels today.

    — Posted by tommybrownnc

    To be fair, TBK sniped first. Thanks for your good wishes, but, with the way this game is going, we won't be in Omaha for too long. Happy Father's Day, Tommy:)

  • StunGunn Jun 18, 4:55 p.m.

    GO VANDY!!! ;)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    I'm excited~!
    what time does the pack play?

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    +1

  • jdupree Jun 18, 4:41 p.m.

    Looks like playing the easy regional has left UNC rusty or not prepared. Guess they will make another quick exit.

  • forautumn Jun 18, 4:36 p.m.

    "In spite of your snipe, good luck to your Heels today"

    Oh, gee, wonder what caused that "snipe"?

    Maybe you should reel in your little wulf fan is spends her life worrying about UNC before you start criticizing others.

  • forautumn Jun 18, 4:34 p.m.

    Hey Truth, get a life, ok? You are a sad example of a poor fan. Go get a friend or something.

More...

 

 

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Teams TBD

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Teams TBD

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland at Denver

    Sunday at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Cincinnati

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Devils

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DEN
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
FAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
NCCU
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
Final
MIN 96
IND 100
Final
OKC 99
NOP 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
POR
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
ATL
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
SAC
 
2:00pm Today
MEM
BYU
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
Final
UTEP 78
ALCOR 45
 
Final
SEAT 66
SACST 47
 
2:00pm Today
BRAD
ARKLR
 
2:00pm Today
CCST
BRO
 
2:00pm Today
NW
ILLCH
 
2:00pm Today
FSU
STET
 
2:30pm Today
GWU
OHIO
 
3:00pm Today
KNST
ELON
 
3:00pm Today
ARKPB
SUTAH
 
4:00pm Today
PSU
DART
 
4:30pm Today
COL
DEP
 
4:30pm Today
UCI
UWGB
 
5:00pm Tonight
PORT
L
 
5:30pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
SCST
 
6:00pm Tonight
PURD
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
IDAHO
 
6:00pm Tonight
FORD
MAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
OSU
UMO
 
6:00pm Tonight
MSU
CITA
 
6:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
TRUETT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
ALAAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MNTER
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
FATL
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GTDNS
FAIR
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
FAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILLST
MAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
KU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIB
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNH
LIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BONA
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
MERC
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
NORST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALCOR
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
OU
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
TENNM
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
VMI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
WMARY
 
7:05pm Tonight
IND
NO
 
7:30pm Tonight
UCONN
CLMB
 
7:30pm Tonight
STJ
LBSU
 
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
WOFF
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
CSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SIUE
CHIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MICH
COPST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
FUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
GRAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
INCWORD
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
LOYC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
NCCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
UNF
 
8:00pm Tonight
VANDY
PENN
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
RICE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
SEMIZ
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
SOUTH
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAT
UAB
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKLA
WEBER
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
MURST
 
8:05pm Tonight
MIZST
ORU
 
8:05pm Tonight
DRAK
SIMPSON
 
8:05pm Tonight
UMKC
TENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
LSU
COC
 
9:00pm Tonight
AFA
JVST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
KSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
PROV
MIAMI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UWMIL
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
NDAK
 
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
NE
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
UCD
 
9:00pm Tonight
OREG
UCSB
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
WISC
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
LCST
 
9:05pm Tonight
PORST
WALLA
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
MARS
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
TAMCC
 
10:30pm Tonight
HOU
BSU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WICHS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
TULA
 
11:00pm Tonight
SDST
UCR
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
Final
BOS 4
BUF 3
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
CHI 4
TOR 0
Final
WIN 3
PHI 4
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
OTT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
PIT
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ARI
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAL
 
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
Final
ARI 6
SEA 35
8:30pm Tonight
CIN
DEN