The College World Series is finally here and this year’s field is stacked with 8 teams who can honestly all win. In this article I will be breaking down each team, how they got here and how I think they will do. It will conclude with my prediction of who I think will take home the CWS title. We start with arguably the most talented team in this year’s field.
Oregon State: The Beavers are the number one ranked team in the country for good reason.They have a country best 54-4 record which is astonishing in itself along with a 1.80 team ERA which is by far the best in the nation. They are loaded with talent and have arguably the best pitching rotation in the history of college baseball. Led by pitching sensation and superstar Jake Thompson and Nick Madrigal who is batting .383, the Beavers are probably the favorite to win the whole thing. They also have not dropped a game in tournament play this year.
LSU: LSU is back in the CWS after last years disappointing loss in the supers to the eventual national champions, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers . They defeated conference foes Mississippi State in the super regional, 2-0. Listen to this mind-blowing stat; every freshman class since 1983 has gone to Omaha at least once in their 4 years at college. That is absolutely mind-blowing . LSU is led this year by two junior right-hander; Hunter Keil and Doug Norman who were both drafted in this years MLB draft. They also have an insane amount of pop, hitting a shitload of homers. I think LSU will make somewhat of a deep run if they can limit their errors.
Texas A&M: The Aggies can be considered the Cinderella in this year’s field. They came in as the 3 seed in the regional tournament and were not nationally ranked. They upset the 1 seed Houston in the Regional and then went on to be Davidson in the supers. I don’t think the Aggies have a chance to really compete unless they can somehow get their home crowd to each game because what an atmosphere that is in College Station.
Louisville: I like this Lousiville Cardinal team a lot. They are fast, shifty, have a lot of pops in their bats and have a stellar bullpen. They have arguably the best player in college baseball in Brendan McKay and a red-hot third baseman in Drew Ellis. The Cards are averaging 8.2 runs a game in the regional and super regionals and look to carry the hot bats to Omaha. I like Lousiville to go to the championship series and think they are the hottest team coming into the CWS.
Florida State: The Florida State Seminoles are back in the CWS and many think this is the best one they have brought. They are the sixteenth ranked team in the nation and are loaded with major league talent. In total, 9 FSU players were drafted in this years MLB draft, including shortstop Taylor Walls. Walls hit an impressive .355 this year to go along with an impressive .479 on base percentage. Third basemen Dylan Busby leads the team in home runs with 14. If the Noles want to compete, they will have to score in bunches which they have the capability of doing.
TCU: The Horn Frogs are getting used to playing in Omaha as this is their fifth straight year making the trip. Each year they have fallen short of winning it all but they feel that this year is going to be different. To get to this point they had to defeat a pesky Missouri State bunch in the Super regionals. TCU is led by junior slugger Evan Skoug. He has hit 20 homers and has a wicked strong-arm behind home plate. TCU will play Florida in the opening round on Sunday night. I think TCU will lose their first game, bounce back but then get eliminated; they just don’t have enough star power.
Florida: The third ranked Florida Gators are looking to make some noise in Omaha this year. They come in with a 47-18 record and had to battle their way to this point. After losing to Bethune-Cookman, the Gators had to fight off elimination in the regional and then had to play a decisive game 3 in the supers against Wake Forest. Florida also experienced over 8 hours of rain delays at the SR so they had to find a way to stay loose. As much of a powerhouse Florida baseball has been making 11 CWS appearances, they have never been able to win the whole thing. To do so this year they will have to rely on catcher, JJ Schwarz and pitcher, Brady Singer. I think Florida will make the final 4 but again, come up just short of winning their first title.
Cal State Fullerton: To round off the list, Cal State Fullerton can be considered as the other Cinderella in this year’s CWS. They had to battle their way to Omaha, defeating Long Beach State in the super regionals. They lost the first game of the series so to make it to the big dance they were going to have to win the next 2 and they did just that. This CSF has no quit in them and I think they could surprise a lot of people in this year’s CWS. They are led by junior Dillon Persinger who has been a pest for pitchers lately, and sophomore righty Colton Eastmen; the Titans are looking to make noise in Omaha and turn some heads.
Final Prediction: Oregon State will defeat Louisville in the championship series and will go back on top in the college baseball hill. I can’t wait for this thing to kick off and just watch some good, competitive baseball. PLAY BALL!