OAKLAND -- While Mark Ellis and Landon Powell are teammates on the field, the pair partook in a friendly rivalry off of it.
Ellis, who played college ball at the University of Florida, and Powell, who attended South Carolina, had a bit of a wager going on as their two former schools duked it out in the College World Series -- but neither would reveal the specifics of the bet, other than that it was "high stakes."
"My family wouldn't be ashamed of me," Powell said before Tuesday's home game against the Marlins. "It's not like I'm going to lose the house or anything, but we both are rooting for our team to win. It should be fun."
Powell said he still needed to talk trash to Ellis after South Carolina eked out a win in an extra-innings affair in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series. And the trash talking will surely continue after the Gamecocks completed the sweep with a 5-2 win Tuesday night in Omaha, Neb.
Despite his team winning back-to-back championships, Powell admitted that he thought Florida was probably the better team this year -- something Ellis wholeheartedly agreed with. The A's longest tenured player was confident that his team would come back from the early loss and come away with the school's first CWS title, but the Gators fell short of that distinction, and now Ellis will have to pay up on the bet.
This isn't the first wager Powell has had during the CWS this year, either, as several of the teams involved in this year's tournament were well represented inside Oakland's clubhouse. Conor Jackson, Tyson Ross and manager Bob Melvin all spent time at Cal, and Cliff Pennington -- the victim of Powell's earlier bet -- attended Texas A&M.
"A lot of the guys in this clubhouse went to college; it's kind of the Oakland A's way," Powell said. "We all had good experiences in college, and we still root for our teams."