Baseball fans can watch the 2016 College World Series Final live online and see if the surprising Arizona Wildcats or the even more surprising Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will take home the title.
The teams will meet for a best-of-three series that starts on Monday night from Omaha, Nebraska.
Arizona reached the 2016 College World Series Final by beating Oklahoma State 5-1 on Saturday, giving the Wildcats something of a surprising berth and a chance to win their second title in the last five years. Though a perennial title contender, the Wildcats had been picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 before the season.
But the team has been able to defy expectations all season and is looking to continue the run all the way to the title.
“We love being together, and we want to keep going as long as we can,” first-year Arizona coach Jay Johnson said (via ESPN). “The competitive side to it? I’d walk down an alley with those guys at two in the morning in the roughest part of the world, and we’re going to come out of it fine.’
Coastal Carolina advanced to the final after a thrilling 7-5 win over TCU on Saturday night, thanks to a home run and a double from Tyler Chadwick and 6 1/3 innings of strong work from Alex Cunningham.
While Coastal Carolina isn’t exactly a newcomer to the College World Series tournament — having made it 15 times in the last 25 years including two trips to the super regionals — this will be the team’s first trip to the final.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 26, 2016
Columbia fans cheer Coastal Carolina’s College World Series bid: ‘They’re our team now’ https://t.co/a9wfC1zlKf
— The State Newspaper (@thestatesports) June 26, 2016
As ESPN noted, it wasn’t an easy path to get there.
In Omaha, Coastal Carolina lost to TCU in its second game, meaning the Chanticleers had to win three straight to go to the finals. The Chanticleers knocked off Texas Tech on Thursday and TCU on Friday before beating the Frogs again.
To make the run even more remarkable, the Chanticleers have won by getting away from what made them so successful during the year. Coastal Carolina led the NCAA in home runs during the season with 94, but they have just one in the tournament.
But the story isn’t just about Coastal Carolina’s amazing run to the final. Arizona will also be seeking its fifth national title and the first since MLB players Joey Rickard and Rob Refsnyder led the Wildcats to the 2012 title.
Fans who watch the 2016 College World Series Final live online will see what is a very unlikely matchup. Even Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore admitted that there are “a lot of talented teams, possibly more talented” than Arizona or Coastal Carolina that could have advanced. He noted that the two finalists match up well against each other, making for what should be an exciting final.
The series is also drawing some interest beyond college baseball fans alone. Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta and teammate Tomma La Stella made a bet on the semifinal round, and now Arrieta has to pay up, Yahoo Sports noted.
Arrieta, a TCU alum, and La Stella, a Coastal Carolina alum, agreed to a tattoo bet, which simply means the loser has to get the tattoo of the other school’s logo.
Unfortunately for Arrieta, he’ll be the one getting some new ink. His Horned Frogs fell to the surprising Chanticleers, 7-5, meaning Coastal Carolina will play for the National Championship in their first-ever appearance at the College World Series.
Here is the full schedule for the 2016 College World Series Final, including the start times and television/internet broadcasts of each game.
Game 1: Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, WatchESPN)
Game 2: Tuesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, WatchESPN)
Game 3 (if necessary): Wednesday, June 29 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, WatchESPN)
Fans who want to watch the 2016 College World Series Final live online can click here for streaming video of Coastal Carolina vs. Arizona series.
[Photo by Ted Kirk/AP Images]