Omaha college baseball fans have always found the charming element when it comes to their rooting interest in the College World Series. The less you know about a team the better chance they have pulling in local support. This year fans will have two options, Coastal Carolina and UC Santa Barbara.
Two teams that won in dramatic fashion against perennial powers, LSU and Louisville. Although you haven’t seen either team in the CWS, both of these schools have been inching closer and closer to Omaha.
The Chanticleers (Coastal Carolina) have now made three Super Regional appearances and the Gauchos (UC Santa Barbara) hosted a regional in 2015 while setting a program record for wins. Both teams know they belong but the fact that they have never been to the CWS will likely place them in the proverbial “Cinderella” or “underdog” category. That role can be an advantage.
We all know when Nebraska and Creighton have made their appearances it became the biggest home field advantage in championship play, but that has only been the case four times in the 65-year history of the city event.
Omaha loves LSU. They respect the usual suspects like Texas, USC, Florida State, Miami and South Carolina. Then there are the teams that you literally have to Google their city and mascot. Can you say Stony Brook?
These teams bring that new blood and unfamiliarity that tends to intrigue and excite the local fan base. Expect plenty of Gaucho and Chanticleer gear being proudly displayed by local fans for at least a week or two.
It may not be the true Cinderella story like we saw in 2008 when No. 4 seed Fresno State won it all, but teams making their first ever CWS appearance typically wear that slipper during their stay.