OMAHA---The game times and pairings for the first two days of the College World Series have been announced. The 58th CWS will be played at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha from June 18-28.
The double-elimination tournament features the winners of the eight super regionals, and includes teams from eight different states, the first time that has occurred at the CWS since 1987. The field includes five teams that advanced to Omaha in 2003.
The first game on Friday is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CST and features Georgia (43-21) and Arizona (35-25-1). Friday's second game pits old Southwest Conference rivals Texas (55-13) and Arkansas (45-22), and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The doubleheader on Saturday features four teams that played in last year's CWS, with South Carolina (50-15) squaring off against Cal St. Fullerton (42-21) at 1:30 p.m., and Miami (Fla.) (49-11) taking on LSU (46-17) at 6 p.m.
The losers of Friday's two games will play one another at 1 p.m. on Sunday, while Friday's winners face off at 6 p.m. Sunday. The losers of Saturday's games will play each other at 1 p.m. on Monday, while Saturday's winners meet Monday at 6 p.m.
The winners of the two brackets will play a best-of-three championship series, with the first game set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 26. The second game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, while the third and deciding game (if necessary) is slated for 6 p.m. on Monday, June 28. Every College World Series game will be televised live by ESPN or ESPN2. The two games on Saturday, June 19 and the first game on Sunday, June 20 (Games 3, 4 and 5 of the CWS) will also be available on ESPNHD, where available. The championship series can also be seen in high definition. In addition, every game from Monday, June 21 through Thursday, June 24 can be followed via a webcast on ESPN.com.
Four of the eight national seeds, including the top three, made it through their respective regionals and super regionals to make it to Omaha. No. 1 Texas is in the CWS for the third consecutive year and for a record 31st time in school history. The Longhorns have a 70-51 record in CWS play and have won five national championships (1949, '50, '75, '83 and 2002). No. 2 South Carolina has advanced to Omaha for the third straight year as well. It is the eighth overall trip for the Gamecocks, who are 14-14 in CWS play and are searching for their first national title.
No. 3 Miami is in the College World Series for the 21st time, all since 1974. The Hurricanes are 44-32 all-time in CWS games and are looking for their fifth national crown (1982, '85, '99 and 2001). No. 8 Arkansas advanced to the CWS for the first time since 1989 and fifth time overall. The Razorbacks are 7-8 in College World Series game and are in search of their first national title.
Arizona is back in Omaha for the 15th time in school history, but for the first time since 1986. The Wildcats are 32-25 at the College World Series and are chasing their fourth national championship (1976, '80, '86). Georgia made it to the CWS for the fourth time. The Bulldogs are 4-5 in the College World Series and hope to win a second national title after winning it all in 1990.
Cal St. Fullerton makes an appearance in Omaha for the third time in four years and for the 13th time overall. The Titans are 27-20 in CWS games and have won three national titles (1979, '84 and '95). LSU will be playing at the College World Series for the 13th time, all since 1986. The Tigers are 29-15 in CWS games and have won five national championships (1991, '93, '96, '97 and 2000).
LSU's title in 1996 was won when Warren Morris hit a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Tigers a 9-8 win over Miami. Saturday's game between the Tigers and Hurricanes is the first matchup between the perennial powers since that memorable game. LSU joins Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina from the Southeastern Conference in making it to the 2004 College World Series. That matches the record for most teams from one league to make it to Omaha; the SEC also sent four teams to the CWS in 1997 (Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi St.).
Arizona is the third No. 3 seed to advance to Omaha in the last five years. San Jose St. did it in 2000, while Southwest Mo. St. made it in 2003. The Wildcats' 35 wins are the fewest for a team entering the College World Series since California made it to Omaha with 35 wins in 1992. Arizona coach Andy Lopez will be taking his third different school to the CWS, having already led Pepperdine (1992) and Florida (1996, '98). He is the third coach in collegiate baseball history to accomplish that feat, joining Larry Cochell (Oral Roberts, Cal St. Fullerton and Oklahoma) and Ron Polk (Ga. Southern, Mississippi St. and Georgia).
Arkansas' Dave Van Horn joins four other coaches who have guided two different schools to the College World Series. Van Horn led Nebraska to the College World Series in 2001 and '02. Among the others is current Texas skipper Augie Garrido, who has also led Cal St. Fullerton into Omaha.
2004 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
Friday, June 18 Game 1 - 1 p.m. (ESPN2) (V) Arizona (35-25-1) vs. (H) Georgia (43-21) Game 2 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) (V) No. 8 Arkansas (45-22) vs. (H) No. 1 Texas (55-13) Saturday, June 19 Game 3 - 1:30 p.m. (ESPN) (V) Cal St. Fullerton (42-21) vs. (H) No. 2 South Carolina (50-15) Game 4 - 6 p.m. (ESPN) (V) LSU (46-17) vs. (H) No. 3 Miami (Fla.) (49-11) Sunday, June 20 Game 5 - 1 p.m. (ESPN) Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 Game 6 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 Monday, June 21 Game 7 - 1 p.m. (ESPN2) Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 Game 8 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 Tuesday, June 22 Game 9 - 1 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 Game 10 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 Wednesday, June 23 Game 11 - 1 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 9 Game 12 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10 Thursday, June 24 Game 13 - 12 p.m. or *6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 11 (if necessary) Game 14 - 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 12 (if necessary) * If only game played Thursday Friday, June 25 No games scheduled CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Saturday, June 26 Game 1 - 6 p.m. (ESPN) Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner Sunday, June 27 Game 2 - 2 p.m. (ESPN) Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner Monday, June 28 Game 3 - 6 p.m. (ESPN) Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner (if necessary) ALL TIMES CENTRAL