Just got back from 12 days in Omaha, and I’m taking off for the Fourth of July weekend up to see family in the Bay Area. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and if any major news breaks, I’ll try to be on it.
OMAHA, Neb. -
Rosenblatt Stadium is a living, breathing testament to college baseball, a relic that has 50 years of memories coursing through its concourses. It pulses with every pitch, smells like 1952 and 1965 and 1983, oozes small-town charm.
The College World Series will leave the venerated grounds next season, heading down 10th Street and settling in at the new monolithic TD Ameritrade Ballpark, a modern marvel of beauty and comfort.
But the ol’ ballpark had a little more magic in her, she wasn’t ready to watch the young ballplayers go.
Rosenblatt held on for two extra innings, an 11th inning single by South Carolina’s Whit Merrifield driving home Scott Wingo to lift the Gamecocks to the 2-1 win over UCLA in front of 24,390.
“I was sitting out by the third baseline for opening ceremonies with the other teams, thinking, ‘What a venue, what an atmosphere, what a history, to be able to come in the last year, to be part of the College World Series and the closing of Rosenblatt,” South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. “And it dawned on me, it would be wonderful to go deep into this thing and be around at the end. And to be able to survive and win the last game is really incredible.
“I know the new stadium will be very special and a great facility. But this is history.”
Incoming freshmen linebacker Josh Shirley, wide receiver Paul Richardson and cornerback Shaquille Richardson were dismissed from the UCLA football team today after the three players were arrested last Wednesday on suspicion of felony theft.
“The three young men know they made a terrible mistake,” Neuheisel said in a release. “We expect our players to behave a certain way and there are consequences when they don’t. Paul, Shaquille and Josh are paying a steep price for their lapse in judgment. They will not be allowed to enroll in school this fall and will not have the opportunity to begin their UCLA academic and athletic careers.
“Whether they are allowed to enroll for Winter Quarter will be determined at a later date. That decision will be based on several factors, including their behavior.”
Neuheisel has left the window open for a return to the program in January if the players meet requirements set by the team. However, the Office of the Dean of Students might impose additional discipline.
The three players were arrested near Hedrick Hall by University Police, reportedly on suspicion of stealing a purse. They were charged with suspicion of felony theft and released on Thursday, the Richardsons receiving $20,000 bail, while Shirley received none.
It is a sharp turn of events, particularly for Shirley, who was expected to compete for a spot on the depth chart after a fantastic senior season at Kaiser of Fontana. Shirley, rated the No. 12 outside linebacker in the class of 2010 by Scout.com, shocked the football community by signing with UCLA on Feb. 3. Most recruiting analysts believed he had ruled out the Bruins.
Shaq and Paul Richardson, meanwhile, were expected to redshirt this season, as they were to enter positions of strength. Shaq Richardson was rated the No. 27 cornerback out of Los Alamitos High School, while Paul Richardson was rated the No. 22 wide receiver out of Serra High of Gardena.
OMAHA, Neb. –
The South Carolina baseball team got its wakeup call pretty early on Monday morning.
A fire alarm blared in the middle of the night, rousing the Gamecocks and forcing them outside in the cold.
The UCLA baseball team got its wakeup call pretty early, too.
This time, it was South Carolina that blazed.
The Gamecocks scored five runs in the first three innings off a rusty Gerrit Cole and rode a terrific start from pitcher Blake Cooper to a 7-1 win in the first game of the College World Series championship series at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium in front of 23,181.
Cole went on to a season-high 11 hits on a season-high six runs (four earned) while striking out just two, which tied a season low.
“They had a great approach; I don’t know what the approach was but whatever it was, it worked,” Cole said. “They touched the ball with two strikes, constantly worked counts, fouled balls off. I jumped ahead of a lot of batters. Had a lot of guys 0-1, 1-2. And they touched the ball.”