College Baseball 360 Editor Sean Stires is in Omaha preparing for the start of the 2009 College World Series.
Friday wasn't necessarily an overly eventful day in Omaha, but it had its share of events. It was practice day at Rosenblatt Stadium the day before the College World Series, but only a few of the teams actually got on the field to take batting practice and shag balls.
Three of the four teams that are set to play today took their hacks on the Rosenblatt turf, but Virginia didn't. Neither did Texas, North Carolina, Southern Mississippi, or Arizona State. Just as LSU was winding-down the third practice session of the morning, and just after Tiger skipper Paul Mainieri exchanged jokes on the field with Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor (Mainieri's former Notre Dame assistant) rain started pelting the field, and they pulled the tarp at Rosenblatt.
That was a little before noon Central Time, and it rained for most of the afternoon after that. It rained pretty hard as well. Not Noah's Ark hard, but it rained enough that games scheduled for the Omaha Slumpbuster Tournament (Thursday's blog) had to be scrapped.
Fortunately, the rain did hold long enough for CWS Opening Ceremonies and fireworks Friday night at Rosenblatt.
Probably the biggest highlight of the day for everyone is when the different teams arrive for practice. LSU and Virginia both took teams pictures with the "Road To Omaha" statue in front of the stadium, and afterward they signed autographs and took pictures with kids of all ages.
My son's team got to mingle with LSU players for quite some time, and Mainieri even said a few words to them later on inside the stadium. Welcome to Omaha!
We did manage to talk to a few of the LSU, Virginia and Arkansas players and coaches Friday, and some of that is now posted on our new "CWS Video" page at www.collegebaseball360.com.
Well, it's Saturday...let the games begin!