OMAHA, Neb. — There is plenty of history to this city and hoping to add to the history is two teams arriving at T.D. Ameritrade Field, a showdown, to face each other down and go home with the prize.
Some people would say it was pure luck and there would be others to argue the point that both teams arrived at the scene on talent but either way the University of Arizona and Coastal Carolina University have beaten the odds and will face each other for the 2016 NCAA College World Series tonight starting at 7 p.m.
Coastal Carolina University used their patented offensive skills to be playing in the championship series against the Wildcats but they also got here with a brilliant pitching performance by Andrew Beckwith.
Coastal Carolina University baseball coach Gary Gilmore watched at the edge of the dugout and watched his pitcher throw not one but two complete games to arrive for the first time in school history a chance to win a NCAA title.
Beckwith’s performance against the No.1 seed of the tournament and the No. 1 team in the NCAA, the University of Florida-was a masterpiece. He threw 98 pitches and only surrendered one run to the University of Florida, 2-1.
Beckwith’s outing against Texas Christian University was a picture of determination and of strong will, he threw 137 pitches at the Horned Frogs and when the final out was recorded the pain and aches of throwing so many pitches were not present as he joined his team mates in the celebration.
Coastal Carolina University leads the NCAA with 95 home runs but they have only hit one so far during the tournament but they lead the tournament with 11 doubles and they have shown that they can play defense along with good relief pitching.
“There are a lot of talented teams, possibly more talented than Jay’s team and my team but the teams that have played the best are here,” Gilmore said. “There are a tremendous amount of similarities between us.”
As surprising as Costal Carolina University appearance in the championship series, do not overlook the University of Arizona and the fact they sent home, a well respected Oklahoma State University baseball team to get the opportunity to stay and play.
University of Arizona baseball coach Jay Johnson said that his team just stuck with the game plan, just stay true to themselves and just enjoy the opportunity to play for the championship.
The game plan for the Wildcats against the Cowboys was simple to follow for Johnson’s team, just throw strikes and do not miss your pitch.
There was one more element to the Wildcats game plan that teams overlook and that is the speed, that the Wildcats have and that helped to put pressure on the Cowboys’ defense.
Leading the way for the Wildcats is Zach Gibbons with a tournament batting average of .474 and seven RBIs , Jared Oliva, he is batting a respectable .375 with six runs batted in and J.J. Matijevic.
The Wildcats and Johnson have a good rotation in the bull pen led by Cameron Ming and Bobby Dalbec, they have also played good defense only making just one error in five games.
It will be an entertaining championship series as both squads have characters that occupy the seats in the dugout that know how to get a party started and keep the celebration going.
For Gilmore and Johnson they are both looking to add more history to their programs and bringing home the trophy is a good way to add a chapter in the history books, either at the University of Arizona or Coastal Carolina University.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation.
I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.