OMAHA, Neb. — This was the day the tarp was pulled over the College World Series. In lieu of baseball – Louisville and Auburn got in four innings of an elimination game, with the Cardinals leading 4-1 – it seemed a good time to go to the stat sheet.
Here are 19 rainy day numbers that give an idea of what’s going on here.
99 — Ryan Bliss’ bobbled grounder at second base for Auburn Tuesday meant two runs for Louisville. It was the 99th error committed by the Cardinals’ opponents this season. They have only 54. Behold, the value of consistently putting the ball in play, and applying pressure with speed.
2-0 — Michigan’s record so far in Omaha. The only other two times the Wolverines started that way, they won the national championship. The last time a Big Ten team did that — Ohio State in 1966 — it won the national championship. Only previous three teams seeded third or lower in the regional have started 2-0 — Michigan was No. 3 seed in Corvallis — and all three won the national championship. The Wolverines went 2-0 Monday by shutting out Florida State. The last time they beat the Seminoles was 1962, when they won the national championship. In other words, the maize and blue omens are stacking up.
6-0 — Mississippi State’s record in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs are the only team in the nation that has not lost a postseason game.
25.3 — There have been 467 plate appearances so far in this College World Series, and 25.3 percent of them have ended in strikeouts.
39-0 — Texas Tech’s record this season when leading after seven innings. Team star Josh Jung nearly did a double take when asked about it. “I didn’t know that stat. Pretty cool.”
.156 — It has not been a clinic on clutch hitting so far. Teams are hitting .156 with runners in scoring position. Through the first six games, the winning teams have been lousy (.184) and the losing teams even lousier (.135).
.233, 8.56 — The batting average and earned run average of Vanderbilt’s opponents in the past 34 games. Gee, wonder how the Commodores won 31 of them?
2 — There have been two walk-off wins in the past four College World Series. Mississippi State owns them both.
65 — Michigan’s pitchers have thrown 248 pitches in two games, and 65 percent of them have been strikes. Of the 70 batters to go to the plate against the Wolverines in two games, only two have walked.
17 — Michigan got away with striking out 17 times against Florida State.
14 — Mississippi State got away with leaving 14 runners on base against Auburn.
5 — Vanderbilt got away with only five hits against Louisville. It helped that two were homers.
46 — Games in a row Vanderbilt’s JJ Bleday has reached base.
8 — Florida State has eight hits in two games, and struck out 21 times.
4-0 — Vanderbilt has never lost its first game in a College World Series, going 4-0.
5 — Arkansas was behind at the end of only five innings in two games, but lost both and was the first team eliminated.
3 — Three of the 10 home runs so far in this College World Series were hit within the first eight pitches of the first inning.
28 — Mississippi State’s four-run rally in the ninth inning against Auburn gave the Bulldogs 28 come-from-behind wins this season. That’s three more than any other team in the nation. In the NCAA Tournament, Mississippi State has outscored opponents 15-4 in the last two innings.
.205 — The opponents’ batting average in Kumar Rocker’s last nine starts for Vanderbilt. That, of course, includes the 0-for-27 for Duke last week, when he threw a no-hitter and struck out 19. Rocker makes his first pitch of the College World Series Wednesday, and Omaha eagerly awaits to see it – that and blue skies.
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