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Notre Dame and Oklahoma advance in winners’ bracket as Arkansas pulls ahead in Jell-O competition in Omaha


Oklahoma’s Jackson Nicklaus (15) celebrates his grand slam against Texas A&M.

Oklahoma’s Jackson Nicklaus (15) celebrates his grand slam against Texas A&M.
Image: AP

The College World Series has officially kicked off, and with one hell of an opening day. On Friday, the Oklahoma Sooners racked up eight runs in the first two innings against Texas A&M, including a three-run homer from catcher Jimmy Crooks. The Aggies just couldn’t catch up for the rest of the game and dropped it 13-8.

And in yet another major upset, Notre Dame kept Texas’ high-powered, 128-home-run offense in check to advance in the winners’ bracket with a final score of 7-3, led by a stellar performance from pitcher John Michael Bertrand. After beating Tennessee — the best team in the nation and a once-easy favorite to end up in Omaha and take home the trophy — in Super Regionals, the Fighting Irish have yet again faced one of the Teams to Beat (Texas or Arkansas, depending on who you ask) of the tournament and won.

Oklahoma and Notre Dame were both unseeded, and A&M and Texas were Nos. 5 and 9, respectively. No. 2 Stanford and Arkansas will face off today, as will Ole Miss and No. 14 Auburn in the double-elimination tournament. (If you’re thinking this is pretty SEC heavy, you’d be right — although a few haven’t quite made the conference switch yet.)

While Stanford might be the highest-seeded team coming into the CWS, they’re falling woefully behind in an equally important tournament — the College World Series Jell-O Shot challenge at Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina in Omaha. For $4.50 each, fans can help their team reach glory off the diamond — and we know how SEC fans can be.

Arkansas is coming into the day already ahead by a mile, despite not yet having played an inning of CWS baseball, with 1,441 Jell-O shot purchases. Stanford’s pitiful count has barely reached the double digits, with 28 measly Jell-O shots having been purchased by Cardinal fans, up from 14 earlier this morning. The Rocco’s record, per a plaque on their wall, is held by Mississippi State fans, who bought 2,965 Jell-O shots during the 2021 College World Series. The Bulldogs also took home the real title last year, as well.

The face-off between Texas and Texas A&M fans this weekend should be one for the books — I don’t know if I’d rather be there to witness it or safely stay thousands of miles out of the way of that showdown.

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