Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Overnight's Biggest News

Overnight's biggest news was not that Snooki, made an "appearance" in Charlotte or that "Twilight Eclipse" brought fans out at midnight to watch the latest installment of Jacob - Bella - Edward.

The biggest overnight news is the University of South Carolina Gamecocks won their first NCAA baseball national championship.

Late last night South Carolina's Whit Merrifield singled to right field with one out in the 11th inning to score the winning run in a 2-1 victory over the UCLA Bruins Tuesday in the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.

Yes that's right Omaha, as in Omaha Nebraska you know Mutual of Omaha? OK it's that state that sits behind Iowa, lets just say the middle of nowhere.

Sports red haired stepchild the CWS (College World Series) has long been overlooked. Someone thought a long time ago that the College World Series should have a permanent home and the picked a place pretty much smack in the middle of the United States.

While the Superbowl and the BCS gather 100s of thousands of fans and the NBA Championship and Final Four send hoops fans in frenzy for weeks, the College World Series has for years toiled under the heat of Nebraska's summer sun nearly void of national attention much less local attention here in basketball country.

There were no "live from Omaha" reports on Eyewitness News, and WBTV's D and D didn't camp out in the Nebraska prairie and point at The road to Omaha.

College baseball has always been the odd NCAA sport that doesn't follow the routine of their professional sports cousins. In Omaha you won't find screaming college coeds or cheerleaders. Of the Gamecocks roster less than 10 percent of the players are even considering a professional baseball career. Most star players are signed well before their senior year.

Their season ends long after graduation, long after the campus has thinned out for the summer, and well before the new freshman show up for orientation.

For these are the boys of summer and on this night they played to perfection on their field of dreams. A field somewhere in the Midwestern grass land in a place that is called Omaha.

Footnote: The Gamecocks provided the perfect send-off for the stadium that has been home to college baseball's biggest event since 1950, the CWS moves to a new stadium in downtown Omaha next year.

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