The Cal Golden Bears men's baseball team, one of the best feel good stories in college athletics in any sport, play top seeds Virginia Cavaliers for the second time this tournament in an elimination game of the 2011 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The Golden Bears came very close to extinction after last season but due to some serious fundraising efforts by the school and boosters, were able to salvage the program. So what did the team do? It has survived on the field and is still alive in the CWS. If they can pull off a win today, they will advance to the championship rounds.
Oddsmakers across the offshore CWS Odds board, don't like Cal's chances listing them at +200 odds underdogs for the game with a 8-run total. Cavs backers are paying -260 odds for a SU victory.
Both teams are 1-1 in the CWS with Virginia defeating Cal, 4-1, Sunday before falling to defending champion South Carolina, 7-1, Tuesday. The Golden Bears rebounded from their loss to the Cavaliers with a 7-3 win over No. 6 Texas A&M on Tuesday.
The starting pitcher for Thursday's game for the Golden Bears will be 6'- 6" right-hander Dixon Anderson. He is 4-3 on the year with a 3.90 ERA and has 41 strikeouts in 67.0 innings. Anderson's last outing was June 5 versus Rice in the Houston Regional, getting a no decision throwing 4.2 innings with two hits, three runs, one earned run, three walks and four strikeouts. His top game this season was a complete-game effort versus Ohio State March 20 when he gave up three hits and only one earned run.
Getting the starting call for Virginia will be right-hander Tyler Wilson. The senior last pitched on Sunday in relief of the Cavs 4-1 win over Cal in their CWS opener. Wilson tossed 39 pitches and allowed three hits and one run in the game. Wilson has been used mostly as a starter but in the post-season has been relied upon in relief. Wilson has a 9-0 record to go with a 2.33 ERA.
The Cavaliers were +275 CWS Odds favorites to win the 2011 tournament while the Golden Bears were +1200 longshots. The winner of tonight's game advances and the loser goes home.