Much like the NCAA Softball World Series that just finished, with Oklahoma ending as reigning champs once again, there is also a College Baseball World Series. It started with Regionals (June 2-5), when 64 teams were split into 16 brackets. Teams aren’t eliminated from their bracket until they lose two games (double elimination). At the end of Regionals, there are 16 teams left that head to Super Regionals which were from June 9-12 this year. At Super Regionals, the teams are split into eight pairings and go through a best-of-three series. Next, the eight teams left head to the Men's College World Series (MCWS) in Omaha, Nebraska. The teams are split into two double-elimination brackets where each bracket has four teams each. The first day of the MCWS this year is June 16, followed by MCWS finals June 24-26, ending with the final championship game on June 26. Finals are a best-of-three series between the winners of the two brackets from the MCWS and the game on the 26th will determine the NCAA champion.
The teams that are headed to the Men’s College World Series this year are University of Florida, Texas Christian University (TCU), Wake Forest University, University of Virginia, Oral Roberts University, Louisiana State University (LSU), Stanford University, and the University of Tennessee. Matchups for the first two days are Oral Roberts vs. TCU (2 pm on June 16), Virginia vs. Florida (7 pm on June 16), Wake Forest vs. Stanford (2 pm on June 17), and LSU vs. Tennessee (7 pm on June 17). All games following those four will be dependent on the losers and winners of those games.
Of course, there are teams that are projected to come out on top. Here's a quick breakdown while looking at each individual matchup.
Going into the weekend looking at the game between TCU and Oral Roberts, it's a little interesting as both were a surprise because neither team has hosted a regional and reached the College World Series. Most were expecting TCU to come out on top between these two teams due to the fact that the main threat to TCU, at least offensively, is Jonah Cox, a center fielder. He is in the single digits for breaking the NCAA all-time hit streak at the current moment and has been one of the most prolific hitters in college baseball. This year Cox had 110 hits, 11 being home runs, in 262 at-bats. Which has given him a .480 batting average. Though the outcome of the game ended up being 6-5 in Oral Roberts' favor.
When looking at the Virginia vs. Florida game, it was a little bit tougher to predict the outcome. Florida was most likely going to struggle to pitch Virginia's lineup because of their team batting average (.334). Virginia wouldn’t struggle as much with pitching due to having enough pitching to help them win. The game ended with Florida persevering with a 6-5 win over Virginia.
The next day, Wake Forest faced Stanford and it looked like Wake Forest would be coming out on top. With arguably the best pitching staff in college baseball, they were expected to win this game with no issue. Pitcher Rhett Lowder is an absolute beast on the mound with his ability to last long in games and get hitters off their game. He has an 11-3 record and became the fifth pitch in program history to reach 11 victories in a season. Lowder struck out 105 batters (a career-high) which is also the 10th most in program history. Also with how Stanford was lucky enough with getting past Texas in the super regional round, and they would most likely struggle to put up any runs, the favor is definitely with Wake Forest. With a final score of 3-2, Wake Forest came out on top.
The final game in the first round was LSU vs. Tennessee. The Tigers were expected to come out on top here. They have two of the best players in the College World Series. Paul Skenes is an amazing starting pitcher and Dylan Crews is definitely one of the favorites to go first pick in the MLB draft with how he has been playing. At the end of the night Saturday, LSU had an amazing win over Tennessee with a final score of 6-3.
As for who's going to come out on top? Wake Forest is expected to be the winner of it all. They are a favorite and No. 1 overall seed. The chances are for sure in their favor, especially with their amazing pitching staff. We will have to wait and see who will be crowned champion.