Bracket one of the 2017 Men’s College World Series includes Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton, Florida State and LSU.
These four teams have made a combined 64 appearances in the College World Series. Florida State leads the entire field with 22 trips to the College World Series.
LSU has the most titles of any team in the field with six.
Needless to say, there is a lot of experience from the schools in this bracket.
Oregon State is the number one national seed, while LSU is fourth. Cal State Fullerton was a number two seed in the Stanford regional, while Florida State hosted both a regional and super regional.
Here is a quick preview of each team, followed by a prediction for this bracket.
Oregon State (54-4)
The big question for the Beavers all week will be the status of Luke Heimlich. The star left-handed pitcher chose not to play in the super regionals after a story of his sexual assault case from when he was 15 was released. It’s still unclear if Heimlich will pitch in the College World Series, but Oregon State didn’t need him in the super regionals as they blew past Vanderbilt in two games. With or without Heimlich, this is still one of the best pitching staffs in the country with Jake Thompson and Drew Rasmussen. The offense was very impressive to me against Vanderbilt, led by Nick Madrigal and KJ Harrison. This team just does everything right and is the most complete team in the country.
Cal State Fullerton (39-22)
After dropping the first game of the Long Beach St. super regional, the Titans came back to win the next two games to advance to the College World Series for the 18th time in school history. This was not the most impressive Cal State Fullerton team in the regular season, but per usual they’ve stepped it up in the postseason. The offense is a bit of a concern for me. Outside of a 12-run outburst against LBSU in the super regional, they scored just 2 runs in the other two games. The pitching, led by Connor Seabold, will need to be lights out for the Titans to have a chance to win. That’s exactly what they did in the super regionals holding LBSU to just 4 runs in three games.
Florida State (45-21)
Just when you want to count the Seminoles out, they surprise you. They were down 6-3 against Sam Houston State in game one of the super regionals, and then outscored them 23-0 over the next 11.5 innings. Jackson Lueck has been playing unconscious in the postseason as he leads the team with a .327 average. Florida State’s ace, Tyler Holton picked up a complete game shutout in the Regionals but struggled in the Super Regionals giving up six runs in only six innings pitched. But it hasn’t mattered as the offense has been great. They’ll need Holton and others to step up their game as they face better pitching in the College World Series.
The LSU Tigers enter the College World Series on a 16-game winning streak having blown through the SEC Tournament, regionals and now super regionals without a loss. They were down 3-0 to Mississippi State in game one of the super regionals, but scored four in the bottom of the eighth to come back and win. This team just seems unbeatable at this point. They have the best top of the order in the nation with Kramer Robertson, Cole Freeman, Antoine Duplantis, Greg Deichmann and Zach Watson. The pitching has looked a little pedestrian lately, but Alex Lange and Jared Poche are still two of the better starters in the country. LSU is hitting their stride at just the right time.
Bracket 1 Prediction:
I honestly think Oregon State and LSU are the two best teams in the country right now, so it’s unfortunate they ended up in the same bracket. I think the Beavers easily get by Cal State Fullerton in game one. LSU will have a little more difficulty against Holton and Florida State. Still, I think at some point this bracket comes down to LSU and Oregon State. I honestly hadn’t watched much of Oregon State before this past weekend, but I was really impressed with what they did to Vanderbilt. I would be really shocked if either LSU or Oregon State doesn’t advance from this bracket. I give the edge to the Tigers because that’s who I picked before the tournament began.