The Stony Brook Seawolves have had plenty of time this week to celebrate the school's first-ever appearance in the College World Series. Today, the celebrating stops and the work begins for the Cinderella Seawolves when they face UCLA in the opening round of 2012 CWS (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN.
Stony Brook is only second No. 4 seed in NCAA Baseball Tournament history and the first America East Conference team to reach the College World Series. The Seawolves, though, have been rejecting the Cinderella label, and with good reason. The Seawolves (52-13) led the nation in victories this season and had seven players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft, led by center fielder Travis Jankowski (44th overall by the San Diego Padres).
Stony Brook is second in the nation with a .335 team batting average. Jankowski hit .422, stole 36 bases and led the nation in triples with 11. Third baseman William Carmona (11th round, Philadelphia Phillies) hit 12 home runs and is fourth in the nation with a .702 slugging percentage. Catcher Patrick Cantwell was drafted in the third round by the Texas Rangers. Overall, the Seawolves are fourth in the nation scoring an average of 7.2 runs per game.
Stony Brook's pitching staff is led by senior right-hander Tyler Johnson (12-1, 1.94 ERA). Johnson was selected in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. Right-hander James Campbell was taken in teh 12th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers and right-hander Jaszir Rakkar was taken in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs. Sophomore Frankie Vanderka (3-3, 2.37 ERA) tossed a three-hit complete game against LSU to clinch SBU's trip to Omaha.
Fresno State was the only other No. 4 seed to reach the College World Series, winning the national title in 2008.
UCLA is making its fourth overall appearance in the College World Series and second in the last three years. The Bruins are 47-14.
UCLA has six players hitting .300 or better, led by junior right fielder Jeff Gelalich. He has a .364 batting average and 11 home runs.
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko leads the pitching staff with an 11-3 record and 2.56 ERA.
The College World Series is a double-elimination format until only two teams remain. The winner of each side of the bracket then face off in a best-of-three series to determine a champion. [Full schedule]
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