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Ben Bokun | | June 13, 2019

Kansas City vs. Detroit: The College World Series connections to the MLB game in Omaha

Watch: Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker throws 19-strikeout no-hitter against Duke

Kansas City and Detroit will play the third game of their three-game series tonight in Omaha, just two days before the 2019 College World Series begins. That's right — two Major League teams are playing at TD Ameritrade Park. Here's how to watch the game and the College World Series connections to the first-ever Major League Baseball game played in Nebraska.

Tigers (24-39)-Royals (21-45) Omaha matchup: game time, TV channel

Detroit and Kansas City play at 8 Eastern tonight, June 13, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The game will be televised on ESPN and streamed here on WatchESPN.

Why are they playing a game in Omaha?

Major League Baseball announced the game last June. You can read the official announcement here. According to MLB, the game "will follow other recent special events that have brought regular season play to non-traditional locales." It's a natural fit to play right before the College World Series with so many baseball fans in town. Plus, MLB pointed out the Royals and the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers "share the game's longest relationship between a Major League Club and its Triple-A affiliate ... since its franchise inception in 1969."

Former CWS participants playing for the Tigers

Here are the players from each team who also played in the College World Series:

Matthew Boyd: The former Oregon State pitcher will start for Detroit in Omaha at the same ballpark where he tossed a gem against Indiana in a CWS elimination game six years ago. Boyd only allotted four hits to the Hoosiers on his way to a memorable complete-game shutout. The lefty takes a 5-4 record with a 3.08 ERA into Thursday night for the Tigers.

Gordon Beckham: The shortstop is no stranger to the CWS. Making college baseball’s greatest stage twice with Georgia, Beckham led his team to the championship in 2008 where the Bulldogs fell to Fresno State. But the former standout has never played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha which opened in 2011.

JaCoby Jones: The LSU infielder made it to the CWS as a junior with the Tigers in 2013. That season, Jones batted .294 in 59 games.

MORE: With the MLB on its way to Omaha meet the inside man at TD Ameritrade Park

Nick Ramirez:  He played first base and pitched with Cal State Fullerton. In 2009 as a freshman, Ramirez helped the Titans to a CWS appearance. He's now a left-handed reliever with Detroit.

John Hicks: The 29-year-old Hicks played three years at Virginia and made the CWS in 2009 and 2011. So he’s playing on familiar grounds as the only player to hit a home run at both the old Rosenblatt Stadium and TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

Brandon Dixon: Dixon won the CWS and scored the title-winning run for the Arizona Wildcats in 2012,

Grayson Greiner: As freshman, former South Carolina catcher Grayson Greiner actually lost to Dixon, his current Tigers teammate, in the 2012 CWS championship.

Ron Gardenhire: The Detroit manager played in the 1979 College World Series as an infielder with the Texas Longhorns.

Former CWS participants playing for the Royals

Whit Merrifield: The Royals second baseman had one of the biggest moments of his baseball career in the 2010 CWS with South Carolina. He belted the game-winning hit and gave the Gamecocks their first championship. That went down as the final College World Series hit ever at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Alex Gordon: One of the best college baseball players of all time, Gordon led Nebraska to its third CWS in 2005 while batting .372. The former third baseman won the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award his junior year.

2019 CWS participants drafted by the Tigers and Royals

Here are the players in the 2019 College World Series who were selected in the draft by the Tigers and the Royals.


  • Jack Kenley, Arkansas, SS: 8th round, Pick 232
  • Jacob Kostyshock, Arkansas, RHP: 8th round, Pick 249
  • John McMillon, Texas Tech, OF: 11th round, Pick 322
  • Jimmy Kerr, Michigan, 3B: 33rd round, Pick 982

Kansas City

  • Drew Parrish, Florida State, LHP: 8th round, Pick 229
  • A.J. Franklin, Vanderbilt, LHP: 17th round, Pick 499
  • Elliott Anderson, Auburn, LHP: 23rd round, Pick 679

Notable college baseball players who starred in the Little League World Series

Hundreds of schools across three divisions of NCAA baseball have fielded teams for numerous years, making it difficult to pinpoint every athlete that's participated on a college program and in the LLWS. But though this compilation isn't comprehensive, we've put together a list of some of the most notable players who stepped on the collegiate and LLWS baseball diamond at some point in their careers.

Former college baseball players who have won the MLB Home Run Derby

Here are all former college baseball players who have won the MLB Home Run Derby.

Here are the DII baseball players selected in the 2023 MLB Draft

This year, 14 DII baseball alum were selected in the draft. Here is each player and what MLB organization they landed with.
Division I
Baseball Championship
June 14 - 24, 2024
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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