College World Series: Sunshine State Rivals Miami vs. Florida Battle In Omaha Tonight
By Steven Pivovar, Omaha World Herald // June 13, 2015
8 p.m. ET on ESPN
OMAHA – Willie Abreu skipped the crash course on Hurricane baseball tradition when he joined the program in 2013.
Abreu grew up in Hialeah, Florida, and he was well aware of Miami’s seemingly endless string of NCAA tournament appearances, its 23 trips to the College World Series and its four national championships.
He also knew what happens when the Hurricanes fall short of what their coach refers to as the “Promised Land.”
“That’s all you hear about, especially if you live in Miami,” Abreu said.
“Everybody lets you know, ‘Get to Omaha, get to Omaha, get to Omaha.’ When you don’t, you hear about it day in and day out. That’s why it’s great to be here.”
For the first time since 2008, Miami (49-15) is back in the CWS. Abreu, the team’s starting right fielder, and his teammates will open their bid for a fifth title Saturday when they take on Florida at 8 p.m. ET in TD Ameritrade Park.
It will be the 241st meeting between the Sunshine State rivals but the first in Omaha. Florida (49-16), the No. 4 national seed, is making its ninth CWS appearance.
The winner will take a step toward the title, but there is more at stake in the meeting.