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Andy Wittry | | June 17, 2022

A brief history of grand slams at the College World Series

Watch some of the biggest grand slams in CWS history

The 2022 Men's College World Series saw a grand slam drought come to an end. After four years had passed since the last grand slam, Oklahoma's Jackson Nicklaus hit a first-pitch bomb into bleachers for the 50th grand slam in MCWS history. 

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Previously, Mississippi State's Jordan Westburg hit the 49th grand slam in MCWS history back in 2018. Westburg had a chance to hit a second career College World Series grand slam in 2019, a feat done just once before on college baseball's grandest stage, but failed to do so. 

Here's a brief history of the grand salami — now 50 in total — at the CWS.

The most recent grand slam

Nicklaus his a one-out first-pitch grand slam in the top of the fourth inning in the opening game of the 2022 Men's College World Series. The dinger was Nicklaus' 11th of the season and put the Sooners up 12-3. The grand slam was the third in Charles Schwab Field history. Watch it below.

2018's dinger

Westburg hit a two-out grand slam in the top of the second inning in an elimination game against the Tar Heels in the 2018 College World Series. It was just his second home run of the season. Watch it below.

The first College World Series grand slam

That one came in 1950, in the fourth year of the tournament. Texas' Kal Segrist went deep in the bottom of the third inning against Washington State in the Longhorns' 12-1 win. Texas won its second consecutive national championship that season.

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The only pinch-hit grand slam (so far)

Five years later came perhaps the most unlikely grand slam in College World Series history. Western Michigan's Freed Messner hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the top of the eighth (the only pinch-hit grand slam ever in the CWS), but it wasn't enough as the Broncos fell to Wake Forest 10-7 in 1955. Messner finished the CWS 1-for-12.

Years with multiple grand slams

On 11 occasions, there have been multiple grand slams in a single College World Series, with a record four grand slams in 1998.

There have been two games in CWS history where both teams have gone yard with the bases loaded and Arizona State was involved in both games. Arizona State and Oral Roberts traded grand slams in the first three innings of their CWS matchup in 1978 and then the Sun Devils and Southern California both hit grand slams in a high-scoring, title-clinching 21-14 victory for the Trojans in 1998.

Coincidentally, USC also beat Arizona State in the finals in 1978. Southern California is the last national champion to hit a grand slam in the CWS.

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Walk-off CWS grand slam

One of the most exciting hits in college baseball history came in 1987, when Stanford right fielder Paul Carey hit the only walk-off grand slam in College World Series history against LSU in the bottom of the 10th inning. Carey stepped to the plate batting .154 (2-for-13 with two singles and one RBI) in the CWS with the Cardinal trailing 5-2, so Stanford needed all four runs in order to win. The Cardinal advanced to win its first-ever national championship over Oklahoma State in the finals.

Cal State Fullerton, Stanford own the grand slam

Players named Paul and Mark are responsible for three grand slams each — the most of any first name. Cal State Fullerton outfielder Mark Kotsay is the only player to hit two grand slams in his college career as he did so against Florida State in 1994 and Tennessee in 1995.

Cal State Fullerton and Stanford are both responsible for six grand slams apiece in the College World Series. Of the 48 grand slams at the CWS, both schools have had a streak of three grand slams without another school hitting one in between. Kotsay's pair of grand slams were followed by his teammate Brian Loyd hitting one against Tennessee in 1995. Stanford hit three grand slams combined in the 1999 and 2000 College World Series.

There have been two occasions where a grand slam resulted in a team's only runs in an entire College World Series game. Ithaca's Don Fazio's bases-loaded home run wasn't quite enough in a 5-4 loss to Florida State in 1962, while Texas' Mike Brumley went yard with the bases juiced in 1983 that proved to be enough offense in a 4-2 win against Michigan.

On two occasions, a team that hit a grand slam in the College World Series won by exactly four runs, most recently accomplished by TCU in 2010. Watch TCU's Matt Curry connect on his 2010 grand slam below.

Ninth-inning drama

There have been three grand slams in the top of the first inning at the College World Series but ironically, two of those teams lost and both to Arizona State — Oral Roberts in '78 and Miami (Fla.) in 1984. Five grand slams have occurred in the ninth inning, most recently one off the bat of North Carolina's Tim Federowicz, who gave the Tar Heels a 7-3 victory on Friday, June 20, 2008, after a game against LSU that started on the day before was suspended due to rain.

Federowicz's home run broke open a tie game in the final frame. Watch his dramatic shot below.

Three of the top 12 home-run-hitting teams in the country (Arkansas, Florida and Texas Tech) advanced to Omaha for the 2018 College World Series so don't be surprised if the list of grand slams at the CWS grows in the coming weeks.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 16 - 26, 2023
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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