The 2011 College World Series got started over the weekend with each half of the eight-team bracket setting up the preliminary winners' and losers' brackets. Each team will play their second game of the CWS Monday and Tuesday, but before we get to those games, let's take a look back at the weekend that was in Omaha.
Day one of the tournament saw Vanderbilt defeat the UNC Tarheels 7-3 thanks to five runs combined in the sixth and eighth innings. Commodores starter Sonny Gray struggled early before his bullpen held down the fort leading up to the comeback. Vanderbilt got RBIs from six different players in the comeback effort.
The Florida Gators followed that up with 8-4 victory over the Texas Longhorns. Texas jumped on top 3-0 in the third inning before Florida slowly took apart the Longhorns pitching. Florida scored two runs in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth and Texas did not have an answer in its bullpen.
Day two of the tournament saw Cal's magical run hit a significant speed bump as the Bears lost 4-1 to the Virginia Cavaliers. The game was scoreless through the first six innings as the Bears somehow wiggled out of numerous dicey situations. Virginia put runners in scoring position with less than two outs in four of the first six innings but could not get the timely hit to bring home a run. However, the Cavs finally broke through in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 4-0 lead. Cal added a run in the ninth but simply could find find any answers for the Cavaliers pitching.
The South Carolina Gamecocks wrapped up the first round of action by defeating the Texas A&M Aggies 5-4 on a walk-off single. Each team scored four runs in the first inning before the pitchers settled down through the eighth inning. Neither team could get an edge until South Carolina led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. A hit and a walk later, the Gamecocks had the bases loaded with nobody out. A&M moved their center fielder in as a fifth infielder but Scott Wingo drove a line drive into the right field wall to score the winning run.
The second round of games kicks off on Monday as we have the first of two elimination games. Texas and North Carolina will meet up at 11:00am pacific on ESPN with the loser going home and the winner living to fight another day. Florida and Vanderbilt meet in the winners' bracket at 4:00pm pacific on ESPN2. The winner of the game advances directly into the semifinals while the loser will meet the winner of a losers' bracket game.
On Tuesday, California and Texas A&M will meet at 11:00am on ESPN in the other second round elimination game. The other game in bracket two will feature Virginia versus South Carolina. Again, the winner advances to the semifinals while the loser faces the winner of a losers' bracket game.