OMAHA–It’s already been a wild, wonderful College World Series, and we’ve got two more very intriguing games on the schedule today. It’s funny, I heard a waitress say the other day that Oregon State is like the home team this week, because they’re here every year now. Who ever thought we’d arrive at that point? It seems like the Beavers have been usurped as Omaha’s favorite sons by those plucky UC Irvine Anteaters, who remind me a lot of the 2006 Beavers. Both teams lost their first games and had to make improbable runs through the loser’s bracket, and just when you thought the Beavers were out of pitching, they got huge performances from inexperienced arms like Dan Turpen and Joe Paterson, who are now their rotation mainstays. Dave Serrano is taking the right attitude about tonight’s game, saying this is a great opportunity for the Anteaters to get a look at some of the young pitchers who will be the future of their program. To the picks . . .
Game 11: North Carolina vs. Rice
John Manuel says: “The Tar Heels were my pick coming into the CWS and I’m sticking with them. Of course, Rice was my preseason national championship pick, so I can’t go wrong either way.”
I’m going with UNC today as well–I just don’t think Robert Woodard will have consecutive poor outings. He’s too competitive.
Aaron: North Carolina
John: North Carolina
Game 12: UC Irvine vs. Oregon State
John says: “Both teams have some significant karma going for them. I’m impressed by Irvine’s ability to generate offense by any means necessary, and they should have enough pitching for one day. It’s probably silly by now to pick against the uber-confident O-State Ballaz, but I’m doing it once.”
Not me. UC Irvine second baseman Cody Cipriano told me yesterday to keep picking against them. Baseball players are a superstitious lot, and I wouldn’t want to rock the boat. Plus, I rode the Beavers to picks glory against Will Kimmey last year, and I’m going to see how far they can carry me again this year.
Aaron: Oregon State
John: UC Irvine
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