CWS Finals 2019 : Detroit Free Press sports writers and Nashville Tennessean sports writers predict Michigan baseball’s College World Series finals matchup against Vanderbilt. The best-of-three series starts Monday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska:
Game 1: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt | Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN | Live stats
Game 2: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt | Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN | Live stats
Game 3: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt | Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN | Live stats
There are just two teams remaining in the 2019 College World Series. Vanderbilt and Michigan are ready to battle in a best-of-three championship series beginning Monday night from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Plenty has been made about both of these teams’ travels on the Road to Omaha. Many, including the staff here at NCAA.com, felt that the No. 2 national seed Commodores had as good a chance as any to win the CWS title, while nary a few had Michigan penciled into its first CWS finals since 1962.
Gerald Ford’s birthplace doesn’t usually draw a lot of foot traffic. Most people don’t even know the place exists, save for Omaha natives who were marched there on elementary school field trips. Besides, Ford lived there only a couple of weeks. He was born in his grandparents’ basement, then moved to Michigan with his family.
But there it sits, only a few miles south of TD Ameritrade Park, a stately brick building that is opened to visitors by appointment only but with a white column-lined garden that is open 24 hours a day. Normally, the bronze bust of the 38th president of the United States spends its days watching intermittent joggers and dog walkers.
But on this rainy Sunday afternoon, barely 24 hours from the start of the College World Series finals, that bust was surrounded by a family of seven, dressed in blue and posing for selfies with President Ford’s face and the nearby photo of No. 48, the All-American center about to snap the football for the 1933 Michigan Wolverines football team.
The 2019 College World Series finals are set. A Vanderbilt team that many expected to be in this spot takes on a Michigan team that was amongst the last four teams in the tournament.
CWS 2019: Full tournament bracket | Printable CWS bracket | Shop latest CWS gear | Listen live
Before Vanderbilt throws out the first pitch of the championship series Monday night, let’s break down a few numbers about both teams you should know.
The importance of scoring early at the College World Series
Michigan played Texas Tech in the first game of the 2019 CWS. The Wolverines scored a run in the first inning — something they have done in all three CWS wins — making them the first team with a run on the board in Omaha. That’s important: in two of the previous four seasons, the team that scored the first run in the CWS won the national championship. Prior to that, it hadn’t happened in since Texas’ CWS run in 1983.
Michigan, Texas Tech, Louisville and Vanderbilt started the day with dreams of winning a national title still alive. Texas Tech and Louisville were faced with must-win situations to force winner-take-all games Saturday.
Both ultimately came up short in very different ways, setting up a championship series between the powerhouse Vanderbilt Commodores and Cinderella Michigan Wolverines starting on June 24.