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Regionals Exposure On TV Grows
By John Manuel
College baseball's postseason coverage spread to new heights last year, with record ratings on ESPN for the College World Series and with every super-regional game broadcast on the network as well.
This year, the postseason TV growth is aimed at the regional round. At least five of the 16 regionals will be televised in one way or another, up from two a year ago.
CSTV, the only national broadcaster of the group, will show one of the most attractive regionals at Stanford, a field that also includes Long Beach State (and righthander Jered Weaver), St. John's and Nevada-Las Vegas. CSTV also plans in-progress highlights and live cut-ins from other regionals. Studio analysts include former big leaguers Ron Darling and Kevin Stocker (who played collegiately at Yale and Washington respectively) and former Mets general manager Steve Phillips.
The Stanford regional games begin Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET.
Every game at the Baton Rouge regional at LSU will be shown on Louisiana-based Cox Sports Television; the field includes the host Tigers, Southern Mississippi, College of Charleston and Army. Former LSU All-American Ben McDonald will provide analysis for the games.
The Athens regional, with Georgia as host, will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Southeast/Charter Sports Southeast. CSS will show at least five games of the regional, with both Friday games and two games Saturday and one championship game Sunday. The regional field, one of the nation's most competitive, includes the Bulldogs as well as Clemson, Birmingham-Southern and Middle Tennessee State.
Sunshine Network in Florida is traveling with the Gators to show regional games from Oklahoma City, Okla. Only games involving Florida, the regional's top seed, will be shown, starting with Friday's 4 p.m. ET opener against Central Connecticut State. If the Gators reach the championship round Sunday, Sunshine Network will carry one or two of the games, slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET.
Rice's regional will be broadcast via the Internet on Owlvision (www.msbn.tv/owlvision), which requires a username and password. The Rice regional field features Texas A&M, Lamar and Texas Southern.