Four impending North Shore Navigators will be competing in the 64th College World Series, which begins this weekend, and therefore have not yet arrived with the team in Lynn. Kevin Kyle and Dominic Leone of Clemson, Jack Mayfield of Oklahoma, and Cody Dent of Florida are the players representing the Navigators in Omaha. Their late arrivals are of course for good reason, whereas the opportunity to play on the national stage certainly serves as a noteworthy experience in a player’s career and development. The College World Series kicks off this Saturday, June 19, and all games can be seen on ESPN and ESPN2.
Leone, a freshman righthander at Clemson, picked up the victory on the mound in the Tigers’ 8-6 win over Alabama on Monday to advance to the school’s first College World Series in four years. Leone allowed just three hits and an unearned run over 5.2 innings and also struck out three while walking just one. Leone is 3-1 with a 4.39 ERA on the season for the No. 13 Tigers, who improved to 43-23 on the season with the victory and will play Arizona State in the first round.
Meanwhile, Kyle, who is also a freshman, has compiled a 3.00 ERA on the year at Clemson in 12 innings pitched out of the bullpen.
Oklahoma punched its ticket to Omaha following an 11-0 win over Virginia on Monday, and it will mark the first appearance in the College World Series since 1995 for the Sooners, who will play South Carolina on Sunday. Mayfield, a freshman, picked up the win and threw 3.1 innings of relief in Oklahoma’s Game 2 victory over Virginia in a 10-7 win. He allowed three earned runs on six hits, and is 5-0 for the season with a 2.49 ERA in 16 games. Mayfield is also an infielder, and has hit .235 in 18 games at the plate.
Dent’s Gators are making their first appearance in the CWS since 2005, and they will square off against UCLA in the first round after defeating Miami in the Super Regional. Dent, the son of former MLB All-Star Bucky Dent, is hitting .241 and hit .417 in conference-play. Dent appeared as a pinch runner in Game 1 against Miami, and served as a defensive replacement in the Game 2 clincher. Florida is currently 47-15 and is the No. 3 team in the country.