Eight Team Field for 2011 College World Series Is Set

The eight team field for the 2011 College World Series has been set. As is always the case, each team will bring a story with them to Omaha, hoping to be the last team standing. Here’s a little about each team.

North Carolina (50-14)
CWS Trips: 9th
National Championships: 0

Coach Mike Fox lost his mother, Barbara Fox, to cancer on June 4. The team swept the Chapel Hill Regional without him, wearing pink socks their final game to honor Barbara. As the Tar Heels take the field in Omaha, they will be playing to honor their coach’s mother.

Vanderbilt (52-10)
CWS Trips: 1st
National Championships: 0

The Commodores are playing for school pride. They are the only private university in the Southeastern Conference – with just 6,738 students. Their football team has one bowl victory since 1955. According to ESPN, their only national championship in any sport came from the women’s bowling team in 2007.

Texas (49-17)
CWS Trips: 34th
National Championships: 6

The Longhorns have appeared in the CWS more than any other program (34 times), but they have had a bit of a dry spell recently, only making it to Omaha once in the prior five seasons. Coach Augie Garrido is an advocate of small ball and it’s hard to argue with his success. The Longhorns have won two national championships under his watch.

Florida (50-17)
CWS Trips: 7th
National Championships: 0

The Gators entered the season as the preseason No. 1 team in the country according to Baseball America. They survived a three game series in their Super Regional and will make their second consecutive CWS appearance, hoping to go deeper this year than last when they were two and out.

California (37-21)
CWS Trips: 6th
National Championships: 2

The Golden Bears weren’t even sure their baseball program would survive budget cuts this season. Not only did they survive, but they swept Dallas Baptist in their Super Regional to earn a spot in the CWS for the first time in 19 years, with a chance for a storybook ending.

Virginia (54-10)
CWS Trips: 2nd
National Championships: 0

The Cavaliers won their Super Regional in dramatic fashion today with a walk off win over UC Irvine. They were one pitch from being eliminated when Chris Taylor singled in two runs to propel them to Omaha. After surviving the scare, they might just enter the tournament feeling loose and free.

South Carolina (50-14)
CWS Trips: 10th
National Championships: 1

The Gamecocks are the defending national champions and they did it the hard way – losing their first game against Oklahoma before winning six straight games to win it all. The team has overcome more than its share of injuries this season and now they have a chance to win back-to-back national championships.

Texas A&M (47-20)
CWS Trips: 5th
National Championships: 0

The Aggies were the final team to qualify for the CWS. After losing 23-9 to Florida State in their Super Regional game Sunday, the Aggies stormed back to win 11-2 in the third and decisive game this evening, earning them their first trip to Omaha since 1999.

The first two games of the CWS are scheduled for Saturday, June 18. Play will continue until a champion is crowned on either June 28 or 29.

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