NCAA’s Poppe: CWS’ new stadium meets expectations

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GOING, GOING, GONE: Home runs have been at a premium so far. Entering Thursday, six had been hit through the first nine games. The toned-down bats in use in college baseball this season have played a role, but so have the conditions.

The wind started blowing out Wednesday, and Vanderbilt hit two homers in its 5-1 win over North Carolina. Vanderbilt has three of the six homers at the CWS, two by Connor Harrell and one by Curt Casali.

A gentle breeze also was blowing out for Thursday’s Virginia-California game.

Casali said he wasn’t thinking about the long ball during batting practice.

“If you put those good swings on the ball,” he said, “the ball’s going to fly regardless if the wind’s blowing or not. Fortunately (Wednesday), Connor and I got some good pitches to hit. We put flat swings on the ball and just let the wind do the rest.”

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ROSENBLATT AUCTION: More than 150 people turned out at Rosenblatt Stadium, and another 700 participated online, for a Thursday auction of about 800 fixtures and memorabilia from the former home of the College World Series.

Someone paid $7,500 for an American flag that had flown over the stadium. Another buyer shelled out $7,000 for a large “Rosenblatt Stadium” sign that hung over the entrance.

Also auctioned were sets of two wooden seats from the original grandstand, built in 1948. Those fetched $600-$700.

A foundation supporting the Omaha zoo bought the stadium property for $12 million. The foundation plans to use money raised from the auction to help pay for a zoo expansion project on the site.

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EXTRA BASES: Attendance after nine games was 197,310, an average of 21,923. Last year’s total at a comparable point was 191,143 (21,238)… The 1991 Creighton University team was honored before Thursday’s game. The ‘91 Bluejays became the first true home team in the CWS. The Creighton campus is blocks away from TD Ameritrade Park… Six of the first nine games were played in under 3 hours, and the average game time 2:58.

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