Four teams will enter, only two will go on
OMAHA, Neb. -- Drama at the College World Series doesn't get much better than what's on tap Saturday.
All four remaining teams know what's at stake. Win and get a chance to play for a national championship next week. Lose and go home.
First up is the rubber match between TCU and UCLA. The Horned Frogs are the first-time World Series participants who have become the fan favorites in Omaha, while the Bruins look to add a title from another sport into their stuffed trophy case back in Westwood.
UCLA won 6-3 in the opening round, while TCU turned the tables with a 6-2 victory Friday. The pitching matchup, on paper, favors the kids from California.
Trevor Bauer led the Pac-10 with 152 strikeouts this season and whiffed 11 in seven innings to beat Florida a week ago. If he should falter, coach John Savage could turn to Gerrit Cole, who fanned 13 TCU batters in the first meeting between these teams.
The challenge for the Horned Frogs is finding someone other than Matt Purke or Tyler Lockwood to shut the door. They'll go today with Kyle Winkler, who got knocked around for five runs in 2 2/3 innings by these same Bruins in last week's loss. Winkler will have to be a whole lot better today, and coach Jim Schlossnagle will have a quick hook.
The weather is more Texas-like than California dreamy, with temperatures near 90. There's also a stiff wind blowing to left with gusts of almost 30 mph, though it doesn't appear to be swirling as it was on Friday when several fielders struggled with the conditions.