I asked all of my writers for their predictions for the 2010 College World Series which starts up today in Omaha with TCU facing off against Florida State in Game 1 while UCLA and Florida face off in the second game. As you probably already know, we have previewed all the CWS teams as you can check it out by clicking here.
By: Casey Hull
Just a year ago, pitcher Matt Purke was selected 14th overall in the 2009 MLB draft, yet failed to reach an agreement with the Texas Rangers and instead enrolled at TCU. Now a year later, the freshman finds himself and his teammates in Omaha for the first time in TCU program history.
Led by head coach Jim Schlossnagle, the 2010 Horned Frogs posted the best record in school history at 51-12 and earned the Mountain West Conference Championship.
The Florida State Seminoles enter the College World Series with a 47-18 overall record and went 18-12 in ACC play. They played outstanding in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro by taking home the conference title. The Seminoles swept through the Norwich (CT) Regional by defeating Central Connecticut State 11-3 before defeating Oregon twice by scores of 5-3 and 6-4. The Noles then hosted a Super Regional against Vanderbilt where they won game 1 on a Mike McGee walk-off homer by a score of 9-8. In Game 2, they dropped a 6-2 decision to Vanderbilt before bouncing back and holding off a late rally by Vanderbilt to win 7-6.
November brought an almost tangible sense of nervousness to supporters of the Arizona State baseball program. With 15-year head coach Pat Murphy suddenly gone, forced to resign in the wake of an ongoing NCAA investigation, murmurs about whether the team would crumble in the adversity it faced hung in the desert air like a slow-moving dust storm.
Such tension didn’t exist, though, inside the team’s clubhouse, where players said from the start of winter training, without reservation, that the goal had not been altered: The Sun Devils were aiming to bring national title No. 6 back to Tempe.
The Florida Gators enter the College World Series with a 47-15 overall record while going 22-8 in the SEC winning the Eastern Division crown over South Carolina by one game. The Gators went a perfect 3-0 in the Gainesville Regional with victories over Bethune-Cookman (7-3), Oregon State (10-2), and Florida Atlantic (15-0). They then hosted a Super Regional matchup against intrastate rival Miami in which they won the first two games by scores of 7-2 and 4-3 (10 innings).
The South Carolina Gamecocks enter the College World Series with a 48-15 overall record and went 21-9 in the SEC this season. They won the Columbia Regional with a perfect 3-0 record with victories over Bucknell (9-5), The Citadel (9-4), and Virginia Tech (10-9). In the Super Regional round, they got sent to Myrtle Beach where they took on Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks won the first two games of the best of three series by scores of 4-3 and 10-9 to head to the College World Series.
In 2008, UCLA was ranked #1 in Baseball America’s preseason poll, only to lose in the Regional round to Cal-State Fullerton, a team that they also lost to in 2007 in the Super Regionals. They followed that disappointing year with a sub-.500 season in 2009, but established a young core of players that would be firing on all cylinders coming out of the gates in 2010.
The Clemson Tigers head into Omaha with a 43-23 overall record. They won the Auburn Regional on the road by defeating Southern Miss (10-1) and Auburn (5-2). They then dropped the first game of the Regional final to Auburn 11-10 before bouncing back in an elimination game with a 13-7 victory. The Super Regional round was hosted by the Tigers where they faced off against the Alabama Crimson Tide. They dropped game 1 by a score of 5-4 before bouncing back with 19-5 and 8-6 victories to make it back to Omaha. They will face off against Arizona State on Sunday at 7pm Eastern time in the final first round matchup of the College World Series.