Mississippi State is coming off a super-regional victory over Virginia, wining 6-5 after an 18-hour rain delay. This is a heavily offense based team accumulating 30 hits over a two game span against Virginia. This will be the ninth appearance in the College World Series for the Bulldogs and first since 2007. A few notable players to keep an eye on include Wes Rea who is hitting .288 along with 37 RBIs and seven home runs, and Hunter Renfroe batting .360 with 61 RBIs and 15 homeruns, along with being drafted 13th overall in the MLB draft. Adam Frazier will also be one to keep an eye on with his .359 batting average and 38 RBIs. Mississippi State will face No.3 Oregon State in game one on Saturday with the winner advancing to take on the winner of Indiana vs. Louisville. They have shown that they can get a lead and hold on to it despite late comebacks. This may be a key factor for Mississippi State, if they can get out early then this team will be hard to beat.
Oregon State will follow nine year head coach Pat Casey to their fifth College World Series in school history and fourth in the last nine. The Beavers are coming off of a 4-3 victory over Kansas State at the Corvallis super-regional. Dylan Davis will be a threat to Mississippi State with his .343 batting average, five home runs, and 58 RBIs look for him to be a huge factor offensively for the Beavers. Michael Conforto has also been a slugger for Oregon State accumulating 11 homeruns, 45 RBIs, and a batting average of .320. The Beavers are set to take on Mississippi State in game one on Saturday with the winner advancing to play to winner of game two(Indiana vs. Louisville). Oregon is on a mean streak throughout the past few years including 2006 and 2007 when they won it all. The Beavers have also shown resilience which may be useful throughout the CWS because it is double elimination.
Indiana is advancing to Omaha for the first time ever after their super-regional sweep of No.7 Florida State and becomes the first Big Ten School to advance to the College World Series since the Michigan team in 1984. The Hoosiers have shown time and time again that they like to start out hot as they have a 59-24 run margin in the first inning. The notable players to watch include Sam Travis who has a .313 batting average, 56 RBIs and 10 homeruns, and Dustin DeMuth who averages .389 to go along with his 41 RBIs and five homeruns. Kyle Schwarber will also be one to watch with his .376 batting average, 54 RBIs, and team leading 18 homeruns. Travis in the 2013 postseason has four homeruns and picked up 16 RBIs giving him Most Outstanding Player at the Big Ten Championship and NCAA Regional. Head coach Tracy Smith will look to continue this historic run for Indiana against Louisville in game two on Saturday with the winner advancing to take on the winner of Oregon State vs. Mississippi State.
Louisville is the No.8 ranked team and this will be only their second trip in school, history to the College World Series. The Cardinals are coming off of a close pitching battle with Vanderbilt to win 2-1 at the Nashville super-regional. The cardinals also set a school record for wins in a season this year with their current record of 51-12. Pitching is the strong point for this Louisville Cardinal baseball team with an ERA ranked in the top 15 of the nation. Jeff Thompson will be the pitcher to watch with his 2.00 ERA and team high 109 strike outs. A few notable offensive players include Ty Young averaging .339 with 57 RBIs and four homeruns, and Jeff Gardner who averages .335 with 43 RBIs and a team high nine homeruns. The Cardinals will face Indiana in game two on day one with the winner advancing to the winner bracket to play the winner of Oregon State vs. Mississippi State.
I predict that Oregon State will eventually win bracket one to play in the finals for the college world series.