It’s finally time for the 2011 College World Series to kick off, and it’s a high octane match-up that opens things up in Omaha and the brand new stadium known as TD Ameritrade Park. This spring has been a remarkable one for both Vanderbilt (52-10) and North Carolina (50-14), and now they stand on the edge of greatness for their respective programs.
For Vanderbilt, this is their first time in the CWS, but led by pitcher Sonny Gray — recently drafted at No. 18 in the recent MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s — and some outstanding hitting — notably Aaron Westlake’s power — the Tigers should not be counted out despite their lack of experience at this stage.
For North Carolina, they’ve yet to lose throughout this post-season and they continue to dispose of opponents behind the stellar pitching of Patrick Johnson, who continues to pitch gem after gem for his team in the clutch. Colin Moran is the power hitter in the middle with 28 extra base hits and the freshman has a solid pro future ahead of him (his brother is a prospect for the Mariners and his uncle is longtime MLB catcher B.J. Surhoff).
Both teams have mowed over their opponents all season long and have the starting pitching and defense to win close games in the tight conditions that bracket play demands. No matter who wins, the loser will probably fight their way right back to the top.