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2024 CWS Coverage – Omaha Group Play and Finals preview

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We’re to the final of the 2024 CWS tournament; here’s a recap of group play in Omaha.

Resources/links I use heavily during CWS time:


In the Top Bracket ( #1 Tennessee, #8 Florida State, #12 Virginia, #4 UNC )

  • In the opening games, UNC tied the game in the 7th and walked-it off on star Vance Honeycutt‘s bottom of the ninth RBI single to win it 3-2. Tennessee came back to score FOUR in the bottom of the ninth, three of them with two outs, to steal a win from Florida State.
  • In the first elimination game, Florida State cruised past UVA to send the Cavaliers home 2-and-out.
  • In the winner’s bracket game,#1 Tennessee cruised past #4 UNC 6-1 to take control of the group.
  • In the play-in game, Florida State took out UNC to earn a rematch with Tennessee for the title game.
  • In the group final, Tennessee cruised past FSU 7-2 to win the group going away.

Final Group standings: Tennessee, FSU, UNC, UVA


In the Bottom Bracket ( #3 Texas A&M, Florida, #10 NC State, #2 Kentucky)

  • In the opening games, Seeds held as #3 TAMU and #2 Kentucky held serve to move to the winner’s bracket game. Kentucky continued the trend of late-game comebacks so far, getting a HR in 9th to tie it and send it to extras, and then walking off with a homer to win it in the 10th. TAMU got 3 runs early and made it stick against Florida.
  • In the first elimination game, Florida eliminated the one ACC team in the group, getting a 3-run homer from its star Caglianone and making the lead stick.
  • In the winner’s bracket game, TAMU exploded for 5 runs in the sixth to break up a 0-0 game and Kentucky didn’t get a hit until there was 2 outs in the 7th to never challenge.
  • In the play-in game, which was delayed by weather, Florida destroyed #2 Kentucky with 7 in the first and with a final score of 15-4 to get another crack at TAMU in the regional final.
  • In the group final, TAMU blanked Florida 2-0 to win the group going away and advance to the final.

Final Group standings: TAMU, Florida, Kentucky, NC State


Analysis/commentary

Well, you can’t ask for much more than #1 versus #3. Both teams dominated this entire off season, with only an 11-10 blip against Evansville being a loss either team has suffered. The CWS was stocked, and the two best SEC teams have advanced to the final (with all due respect to #2 Kentucky of course).


Projected 1st Rounder Performance:

We’ve been tracking the same crew of players since the opening round; there’s a few 1st rounders who were in Omaha; here’s how they performed (note: TAMU is in Omaha but their projected top 5 pick is out with a broken ankle).

  • Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP Florida: 2-3 with a dbl and a BB in game one. 1-3 with a 3run HR in game two, which he also started but got pulled at 33 pitches in the first. In game 3; 2-2 with 3BBs and a solo homer in Fla’s destruction of KY. Went 2-4 in Florida’s shutout to exit. What a CWS. Caglianone probably convinced the entire MLB world how good his bat is and how unreliable he is on the mound for the final time
  • Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State: 1-3 with 3BB in the opener. 1-3 with a dbl in game 2. 0-5 in game 3. 0-4 in Game four. A dud of a CWS.
  • James Tibbs, OF, Florida State: 1-6 with 4 Ks (ouch) in the opener. 0-2 with 2 BB in game 2. 1-4 with 2BB in game 3. Just 1-4 in the final. After a fantastic super regional, he no-showed the CWS unfortunately.
  • Vance Honeycutt, CF, North Carolina: Just 1-5 in the opener but that one hit won the game in the bottom of the 9th. Went 1-3 with another HR in game 2. 3-5 with a third straight HR in the last. Honeycutt certainly left scouts with a heck of an impression and probably made himself some last minute money by pushing his draft stock into the mid 1st round.
  • Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee: 5-6 and hitting for the cycle in the opener (!!), 1-4 in game 2. 2-4 with 2 runs in the gruop final. Solid CWS
  • Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee: 2-4 in the opener. 0-3 in game 2. 2-5 with 2R in the group final. 4-12 for the CWS group stage but with little in the way of power.


CWS Preview and Prediction:

I think i like #1 Tennessee to enter as #1 and win as #1. Normally i focus on pitching matchups, but neither Tennessee or TAMU really is driven by pitching. TAMU’s workmanlike advancing without their best player is impressive for sure, but will probably be the difference maker.

Written by Todd Boss

June 20th, 2024 at 12:34 pm

Posted in College/CWS

2024 CWS Coverage – Super Regionals review and CWS Preview

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We’re through the super regionals, and have a CWS field that is, frankly, stacked. It’s going to be a great CWS.

Resource links to help with this:

First, lets recap the Supers.

  • #1 Tennessee vs Evansville: Tennessee won game one 11-6, but the underdog shocked the #1 team in the nation in game two to force the deciding 3rd game. In the decided Tennessee turned it into a laugher, winning 11-1 to move on and avoid a massive upset
  • #8 Florida State vs UConn: Florida State came to hit in this series, winning the first game by the astounding score of 24-4, then holding on for a 10-8 game two to move on.
  • Kansas State vs #12 Virginia: UVA, who got hosting privileges as the higher seed, cruised to two straight wins to be the first team to punch their ticket.
  • #4 UNC vs West Virginia: UNC had a bone-chilling come from behind win in game one, blasting two homers in the bottom of the last to go from a one-run deficit to a walk-off win. In game two, Tar Heel Star Honeycutt scored both runs in a 2-1 squeaker to send UNC to Omaha.
  • #3 Texas A&M vs Oregon: TAMU held serve in game one despite losing its superstar Montgomery, then cruised to a 15-9 win to head to Omaha. I sense some sports cliche “do it for Braden” stuff going on here.
  • #6 Clemson v Florida: Florida upset the hosts in game one 10-6, then the two teams played an epic 13-inning thriller that featured a 3-run rally in the top of the 9th by Clemson to send it to extras, then a walk-off double from Florida in the 13th to send them to the CWS.
  • #7 Georgia v #10 NC State: NC State embarrassed Georgia on its home turf 18-1 in game one. Georgia rebounded to crush the Wolfpack 11-2 in game two, sending it to the decider. There, NC State held on with an 8-5 win to upset Georgia and head to Omaha.
  • #2 Kentucky v #15 Oregon State: Kentucky blanked OSU in game one 10-0, then won a close one 3-2 to move on.

Super Regional Predictions versus Actuals

  • predicted Tenn, FSU, UVA, UNC, TAMU, Florida, NC State, Kentucky
  • actuals: Tenn, FSU, UVA, UNC, TAMU, Florida, NC State, Kentucky

Not bad on my predictions: I went 8 for 8.

Stats/Observations of the 8 Super Regionals.

  • 6 out of 8 Super Regional Hosts to advance.
  • 2 regionals went to the 3rd/deciding game: Tennessee/Evansville, Georgia/NC State
  • Conference Breakdown of the eight Advancers: Four from the SEC, four from the ACC. Is anyone surprised based on the dominance of these two leagues this year?

So, your 2024 CWS Field (with original national seeds driving the teams):

  • Group 1 (1,4,5,8): #1 Tennessee, #8 Florida State, #12 Virginia, #4 UNC.
  • Group 2 (2,3,6,7): #3 Texas A&M, Florida, #10 NC State, #2 Kentucky

Clearly this is an ACC-SEC centric tourney, and interestingly the way the brackets bear out its mostly ACC teams in group 1 (except for #1 Tennessee) and its mostly SEC teams in Group 2 (except for NC State).


Performance of 1st Round projected players in the Super Regionals:

Here’s a quick run through just the 1st round projected players who were active, using primarily MLBPipeline’s draft rankings for candidates. They’re listed in rough order of the way they’ll likely go in the 1st round in July.

  • Charlie Condon: 3B/OF, Georgia: 0-3 with a BB in game one blowout loss. 1-4 in game 2, 1-4 with a solo HR in game 3.
  • Travis Bazzana 2B/SS: Oregon State: 0-3 with a BB in game one. 1-4 with a BB and 2Ks in game 2.
  • Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP Florida: 2-4 with 3-RBI and HR in game one. 1-3 but with 3BB and another HR in game two while also getting the start and giving up 4ER in 5 2/3rds. Great super, but his bat is clearly playing more than his arm (consistent with scouting).
  • Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M: Walked in his first AB, then suffered a really bad-looking ankle injury trying to score later on in the inning. Twitter reports called it a “clean break” of his ankle. What a dagger of an injury for the player, a projected top-5 pick who likely falls in the draft because of this.
  • J.J. Wetherholt, 2B/SS, West Virginia: 1-4 with a R in game one. 0-4 with nothing in game 2.
  • Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State: 3-4 with 2R in game one blowout, 2-5 with 2R and 2BB in game 2.
  • James Tibbs, OF, Florida State: 2-5 with 2BB and 4RBI in game one blowout, 5-6 (!!) with 3R, 6RBI and a HR in the 12th inning in game two to win it. Talk about a performance.
  • Vance Honeycutt, CF, North Carolina: What a super regional for Honeycutt. 2-5 with 2R, 2RBI and the walk-off game winning HR in game one, then a leadoff HR
  • Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee: 1-3 with 2R, 2RBI and a HR in game one. 0-4 with 2BB in game 2.
  • Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee: 3-4 with 3R and a solo HR in game one. 1-5 with a R in game 2.
  • Kaeleen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State: 1-4 with a 2RBI double in game one. 1-3 with a Sac fly in game two. Couldn’t do much to help.

Impressed: Caglianone, Honeycutt, Tibbs, Smith, Amick

Disappointed: Condon, Bazzana, Wetherholt, Moore, Culpepper


My CWS Predictions

Top half: Tennessee should get by FSU in the opener, while UNC-UVA seems like a coin-flip to open (UVA took 2 of 3 against UNC in regular season play, but it was on home turf). I’m a little worried about Tennessee’s struggles to get by Evansville, but UVA doesn’t scare me. I think Tennessee wins the upper half.

Bottom Half: TAMU lost 2 of 3 at Florida in the regular season and I sense Florida has a chip on their shoulder this entire post-season. NC State also seems like a destiny team, so i can see those two advancing early, with Florida surprising and coming out of the bottom-half.

Final: Tennessee over Florida for the title.

Written by Todd Boss

June 11th, 2024 at 9:45 am

Posted in College/CWS

2024 CWS Coverage – Regional Recap and Super Regional Preview

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The busiest weekend in Baseball has past; here’s a run down of the opening weekend of the College Baseball playoffs.

Resource links to help with this:

Quick Regional Recaps of the 16 regional action, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup. that means, the pairs of regionals being reviewed (#1 Tennessee regional and #16 East Carolina regional) will determine that Super Regional. The eventual winning team is bolded.

  • #1 Tennessee Regional Recap: top overall seed Tennessee won their first two games without much fan fare to move to Sunday’s regional final. They cruised to the regional win by crushing Southern Miss in the regional final.
  • #16 East Carolina Regional Recap: this regional didn’t go anywhere close to the way people expected, with both top seeds ECU and Wake Forest losing to unheralded teams to open. This left us with Yesevage vs Burns in a loser’s bracket game unexpectedly, one where Yesevage outpitched his higher-ranked 2024 draft prospect to shockingly eliminate Wake Forest and its three-projected 1st round players 2-and-out. Meanwhile, #4 regional seed Evansville outslugged VCU to take control of the regional. ECU won twice on Sunday, including a 19-6 blitzing of Evansville to force the Monday winner-take-all game Monday, but Evansville held on to win 6-5 and move on as the rare 4th regional seed.
  • #8 Florida State Regional Recap: FSU held serve as expected, while Alabama shockingly went 2-and-out. In the final, Florida State won a winner’s bracket rematch against state-rival UCF to move on. They’ll host a super regional next weekend as a top 8 seed.
  • #9 Oklahoma Regional Recap: Host Oklahoma was shocked by #3 seed UConn and had to drop to the loser’s bracket, but they came back out and topped UConn late Sunday to force the Monday game. In that final, UConn showed up and Okla did not, winning 7-1 for the big upset.
  • #5 Arkansas Regional Recap: Arkansas was edged by unheralded Kansas State in the winner’s bracket, then went out meekly to Southwest Missouri State to become the first top=8 seed to lose. Kansas State took control and advanced to the Super Regionals without losing a game.
  • #12: Virginia Regional Recap: Virginia ground out close wins to advance to the winner’s bracket final, then dominated #2 regional seed Mississippi State to become the first team to advance to the super Regionals. They’ll have a great shot at hosting there too, thanks to Arkansas’ upset.
  • #13 Arizona Regional Recap: Host Arizona unsurprisingly went 2-and-out as the least-deserving host as West Virginia (led by 1-1 draft candidate Wetherholt) cruised into the regional final. West Virginia wasn’t really threatened the whole weekend and dumped Grand Canyon in the final to move on.
  • #4 North Carolina Regional Recap: UNC controlled red-hot LSU to get to the regional final, but the defending CWS champs would not go quietly, winning Sunday night to force the winner-take-all Monday game. In the final, in just an amazing game, UNC tied it in the 9th and won it in the 10th to oust LSU.

And, the eventual CWS Bottom Half:

  • #3 Texas A&M Regional Recap: TAMU edged its long-time rival Texas to take control of the regional, then completed a clean sweep of all three teams in the regional by finishing off Louisiana to advance.
  • #14 UC Santa Barbara Regional Recap: Oregon got a win over host UCSB to take control of the regional, then blanked them again to upset the Big West champs and move on.
  • #11 Oklahoma State Regional Recap: OSU bashed its way to the regional final, shutting down Florida 7-1 in the winner’s bracket. However, Florida came roaring back out of the loser’s bracket, toped OSU to force Monday winner-take-all. In that game, Florida, who many criticized for even being in the tourney, controlled a tight game and topped the hosts to move on.
  • #6 Clemson Regional Recap: The hosts edged Coastal Carolina in the winner’s bracket final to take control early. CCU, who had helped the shocking Vanderbilt team go 2-and-out in the post season at the hands of #4 seed High Point, fought back to the regional final but Clemson controlled them again to advance.
  • #7 Georgia Regional Recap: Host Georgia beat Army and then UNCW to take control of the regional. Georgia Tech had other things in mind though, beating UNCW to force an all-Georgia rivalry game for the super regional spot. The two teams went extras late Sunday Night but Georgia came out on top to advance to a super regional in Athens next weekend.
  • #10 NC State Regional Recap: South Carolina pulled a victory from the hands of defeat against JMU in the opener, but dropped the winner’s bracket win to host NCSU. JMU got its revenge and topped South Carolina to make the regional final, but dropped it 5-3 to the hosts. NC State moves on.
  • #15 Oregon State Regional Recap: Host OSU topped the Anteaters of UC Irvine in the winner’s bracket, and then were leading 6-4 in the 4th against the same team for the regional final when the rain came to push the final a day. On Monday when the game resumed, Oregon State pulled away from Irvine to move on.
  • #2 Kentucky Regional Recap: Kentucky won its first two games easily to move into the regional final. They finished off a neat sweep of its regional rivals and advanced to the super regionals.

Thus, your Super Regionals are ...

  • #1 Tennessee vs Evansville
  • #8 Florida State vs UConn
  • Kansas State vs #12 Virginia
  • #4 UNC vs West Virginia
  • #3 Texas A&M vs Oregon
  • #6 Clemson v Florida
  • #7 Georgia v #10 NC State
  • #2 Kentucky v #15 Oregon State

Stats/Observations of the 16 regionals.

  • 10 out of 16: Seeds/Hosts to advance, 7 of the top 8. So a rather Chalky weekend. The upsets weren’t terribly surprising: Arizona losing as the worst host was no shock, Florida moving on not a huge surprise either.
  • 4 regionals went to Monday extra game: ECU, Oklahoma, UNC, OSU,
  • Conference Breakdown of the 16 advancers: 5 from SEC (TN, TAMU, UGA, KY, Fla), 5 from ACC (FSU, UNC, Clemson, UVA, NC State), 2 from Big12 (KSU, WVA), 2 From Pac12 (Oregon and Oregon State), and 2 from elsewhere (Evansville, UConn). About what we’d expect.
  • Ten #1 seeds, Zero #2 seeds, Five #3 seeds (West Virginia, Kansas State, UConn, Oregon, Florida) and one #4 seed (Evansville) advance. That’s pretty amazing, but then again all these #3 seeds from major conferences were not exactly your typical 3-seeds.

Performance of 1st Round projected players in the Regionals:

Here’s a quick run through just the 1st round projected players who were active, using primarily MLBPipeline’s draft rankings for candidates. They’re listed in rough order of the way they’ll likely go in the 1st round in July.

  • Charlie Condon: 3B/OF, University of Georgia: Batting 2nd and playing 3B this weekend he went 3-3 with a double and a homer and 2 walks in the opener, 0-4 against UNCW in game 2, then 2-3 with 3 walks in game 3. That’s an OBP of 10-16 for the weekend.
  • Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State: from Leadoff spot, he went 2-3 with 2 walks, a solo HR, and 3 runs in game one. 1-4 but with a 2-run HR in game two, 1-4 with a walk in game 3. Not a bad weekend. Power and OBP.
  • Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP Florida: On the mound he threw the opener: 5ip 4ER. At the plate hitting out of the #2 hole he went 1-4 with a HR in the opener, 2-4 with 2 walks, a 2b and another HR in game two, 0-4 in game three with a walk and a run, then 2-3 with a walk and a double in the decider. Not a bad series at the plate.
  • Nick Kurtz, 1B Wake Forest: 0-3 with 2Ks in the opener, 1-4 with 2RBIs in the second game. Very little impact as his team shockingly went 2-and-out.
  • Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M: Hitting 3rd and 4th and playing RF, Montgomery went 3-5 in game one, 1-4 in game 2, then 2-6 with a homer and 4RBI in the decider to earn regional MVP.
  • Hagen Smith, LHP starter, Arkansas: gave up 6 ER in 5 innings in a loss to Kansas State, then watched as his team was exited from the tournament despite being the #5 overall seed.
  • Chase Burns, RHP starter, Wake Forest: Labored through 5 innings (96 pitches) and gave up 4 runs in a no-decision in a highly anticipated matchup with Yesevage.
  • J.J. Wetherholt, 2B/SS, West Virginia: leading off and playing SS, in game 1 he went 0-2 with a walk and HBP, 0-4 in game 2, 3-6 in game 3. So, not a great regional.
  • Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina: outpitched fellow 1st rounder Burns in the surprise loser’s bracket meeting between WF and ECU: 7 1/3 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 run. 6/4 K/BB, 112 pitches. He may have made himself some cash on the weekend, and he’ll get another look next weekend as his team advanced to the Super Regionals.
  • Seaver King 3B/OF Wake Forest: 0-4 in the opener, 1-5 in the second game with a run. Not much.
  • Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State: 0-5 in the opener, 3-4 with a HR in game two, 1-2 with another HR in game 3 batting out of the #2 spot. Showed some power for sure.
  • Tommy White, 3B, LSU: Hitting either #1 or #2: 0-4 in the opener, 2-5 in game 2, 2-5 in game 3, 1-5 in game four, 1-5 in game five. Not a great series.
  • James Tibbs, OF, Florida State: 0-1 with 4BBs in the opener, 0-4 in game two, 0-4 with a walk in Game 3 batting #3 behind Smith. Not a great weekend for Tibbs, but he’ll get another shot next weekend.
  • Carson Benge, OF/RHP, Oklahoma State; as #2 hitter: 1-5 in game1, 2-4 with a HR in game2, 0-4 with three Ks in game3, 1-4 in the decider. He also got the start in game 3 (I didn’t know he was a 2-way player): giving up 5er in 5 innings against Florida.
  • Vance Honeycutt, CF, North Carolina: as leadoff hitter, 0-4 in opener, then 2-4 with HR and 4RBIs in 2nd, 0-5 with 3Ks in game3, 1-4 in the decider. Not very good.
  • Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee: 2-5 in opener, 2-4 with 2 Walks in game 2, 0-4 in game 3 but with 2 walks. Batted Leadoff and was all over the base-paths all weekend.
  • Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee: 1-3 but with a 3-run HR in the opener, 1-3 with another big HR in game two, 0-5 in game 3. Showed power as the #3 hitter in the lineup.
  • Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State: hit a 3-run homer in the opener that essentially won the game for his team but also had a sombrero of Ks. Went 2-5 against UVA in a losing effort. Went 5-5 against St. Johns in the elimination game. Lastly went 2-4 and drove in his team’s only two runs in a 9-2 loss that eliminated them. Weekend line: 10-19 and playing a massive part in his team’s success.
  • Jurrangelo Cijntje, Switch-Pitcher, Mississippi State: had a decent start against UVA in the winner’s bracket final, going 7 and giving up 4 to keep his team in the game. Not a bad effort.
  • Kaeleen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State: 4-5 with 4R, 4RBI in the opener, 1-4 but with the decisive 3-run HR against Hagen Smith to seal his team’s win against Arkansas, then a 2-3 day with 2 walks in the regional final. 7-12 for the weekend with 5R, 7RBI batting third for his Super Regional team.
  • Jonathan Stantucci, LHP, Duke: has been on the DL for a month and made the Saturday start, but only went 2 innings. He sustained a rib injury in May.

So, Condon, Bazzana, Caglianone, Montgomery, Yesevage, Moore, Jordan, Culpepper impressed, while Kurtz, HSmith, Burns, King, Wetherholt, Amick, Honeycutt, Benge, and Tommy Tanks White probably cost themselves.


Super Regional predictions: Here’s what i think happens when these heavyweights meetup next weekend:

  • #1 Tennessee over Evansville. #1 overall team versus a 4-seed just happy to be there spells quick doom.
  • #8 Florida State vs UConn: UConn beat Duke handily and then Oklahoma twice, but never had to face the ace of either team by virtue of the way the regional worked out. FSU has better pitching.
  • Kansas State vs #12 Virginia: UVA likely gets the hosting duties here, which gives them a huge leg up and they move on.
  • #4 UNC vs West Virginia. Tough one to call. UNC looked a little vulnerable, but WVU wasn’t exactly challenged in this regional despite being a 3-seed. UNC to move on.
  • #3 Texas A&M vs Oregon: TAMU overpowers Pac12 opposition.
  • #6 Clemson v Florida: Florida has the #1 SoS in the country and gets the upset here.
  • #7 Georgia v #10 NC State; I like NC State’s chances.
  • #2 Kentucky v #15 Oregon State: Kentucky all the way .

Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2024 at 9:37 am

Posted in College/CWS,Draft

2024 CWS Coverage – Field of 64 and Regional Preview

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Its College Baseball post-season time, something we’ve followed in this space for years. Here’s a quick guide to the CWS 2024 post season. The field of 64 was announced on Memorial Day Weekend at Noon, so here’s a preview of this coming weekend’s 16 regional events.

First off, some resources for you.

Your top 8 seeds and favorites to make Omaha, in order, along with their RPI and their Strength of Schedule (SoS) denoted:

  1. Tennessee: #1 RPI, #23 SoS
  2. Kentucky: #3 RPI, #6 SoS
  3. Texas A&M: #2 RPI, #13 SoS
  4. North Carolina: #4 RPI, #15 SoS
  5. Arkansas: #5 RPI, #11 SoS
  6. Clemson: #7 RPI, #18 SoS
  7. Georgia: #6 RPI, #9 SoS
  8. Florida State: #8 RPI, #26 SoS

The top 8 seeds also are the top 8 RPI ranked teams, in nearly identical order to their RPI ranking, in case you were wondering how important RPI is to seeding in College Baseball. The top 8 national seeds are entirely from two conferences: SEC and ACC, showing the dominance of those divisions (something we’ll see more of in the regions).

The rest of the Regional Hosts/Top 16 teams are as follows:

  • #9 Oklahoma: #14 RPI, #10 SoS
  • #10 NC State: #15 RPI, #3 SoS
  • #11 Oklahoma State: #11 RPI, #28 SoS
  • #12: Virginia: #12 RPI, #27 SoS
  • #13 Arizona: #31 RPI, #31 SoS
  • #14 UC Santa Barbara: #13 RPI, #100 SoS
  • #15 Oregon State: #18 RPI, #78 SoS
  • #16 East Carolina: #22 RPI, #71 SoS

There’s definitely a couple of outliers here, especially #31 RPI Arizona, who won the Pac12’s final title but doesn’t seem to deserve a top 16 spot at the expense of other teams. The 9th ranked RPI team is Wake Forest; I don’t think anyone wants to see Wake Forest in this tournament and they’re not even a seed.

Local DC/MD/VA local teams in the tourney:

  • UVA: #12 overall seed, has to deal with Mississippi State in their region but at least they host.
  • VCU: a 3-seed in the ECU regional, which also includes Wake Forest. Tough.
  • ECU: #16 national seed but stuck with Wake and may be in trouble.
  • West Virginia is the 3-seed in Arizona’s regional that includes Dallas Baptist. Also tough.
  • JMU, my alma mater, sneaks in as a 3-seed in the NC State regional. They were definitely a bubble team, and there’s probably 3-4 other teams that merited this spot (TCU, Cincinnati, etc). But, we benefitted this year.

It’s definitely kind of a down year for area teams. Maryland is usually solid but was on the bubble after faltering in their conference tourney. Liberty had a down year, going just 24-34 in CUSA. Virginia Tech went around .500 in ACC play but went 2-and-out in ACC tourney play; one win there and maybe they’re in. ODU was #71 in RPI but really needed to win the Sun Belt to get in. Same with Coastal.


Quick Regional Thoughts

Here’s one sentence or so on each regional.

  1. Tennessee: should cruise through, straight forward regional.
  2. Kentucky: Gets #10 RPI Indiana State, who had a strong case for hosting. No favors here for Kentucky.
  3. Texas A&M: Gets a grudge match against U-Texas as well as a very solid Louisiana team; tough regional, though LA-TX opener burns each team’s ace.
  4. North Carolina: they get last year’s champ LSU, which had an obviously down year but is still no slouch and UNC is close enough to have their fans drive.
  5. Arkansas: Might have the easiest regional of all, at one of the hardest places to play.
  6. Clemson: Of course they get Vanderbilt, plus Coastal. Vandy down this year though so Clemson should move on.
  7. Georgia: Fun possible rivalry game against Ga Tech brewing, but don’t sleep on UNC-Wilmington.
  8. Florida State: A couple of tougher teams in this regional, including the SEC tourney host Alabama.
  9. Oklahoma: Oof, I wouldn’t want to see Duke in my regional. Upset watch here.
  10. NC State: will have to contend with battle-tested South Carolina.
  11. Oklahoma State: They won’t be scared of #2 seed Nebraska, but will be scared of perhaps Florida, who sneaks into the tourney.
  12. Virginia: it all comes down to the under rated Mississippi State in this bracket; upset watch here.
  13. Arizona: If i’m Dallas Baptist, I’m happy as heck here, getting easily the weakest host. DBU is ranked #17 in RPI, more than a dozen slots higher than AZ. It’ll be an upset if DBU loses this one. They also have to deal with WVU for a balanced regional.
  14. UC Santa Barbara: they get an all-west coast group in a down year for West Coast teams, but this division does have the champs of three West Coast conferences all together: The Big West, The WCC, and Mountain West.
  15. Oregon State: As Pac12 runner up, gets Big West runner up UC Irvine. Too close to call.
  16. East Carolina: for their troubles they get Wake Forest and likely 1st rounder Burns in the Saturday winner’s bracket final, but if they save fellow 1st rounder Yesavage we have an early contender for game of the weekend.

Prospect Watch. Nearly every guy projected to go in the first round is playing post season, so this list kinda looks like the projected top 10. We’ll go region by region:

  • #1 Tennessee: mid 1st round projecting 3B Billy Amick plus a handful of solid 2nd/3rd round hitters
  • #2 Kentucky has just one top 3-4 round prospect on its team: RHP Travis Smith
  • #3 TAMU is led by top-5 pick Braden Montgomery. But they have a ton of named picks, as does UT Austin.
  • #4 UNC is led by Vance Honeycutt, likely 1st rounder who was projected higher earlier in the cycle. LSU is led by Tommy White (aka Tommy Tanks), but has a couple other boppers who should go 1st/2nd rounds.
  • #5 Arkansas’ top starter is Hagen Smith, who should go top 8 picks.
  • #6 Clemson’s only top prospect is LHP Tristan Smith. Vandy has a couple of pitchers to watch for in Bryce Cunningham and Carter Holton.
  • #7 Georgia is led by consensus 1-1 Charlie Condon.
  • #8 Florida State has a couple of hitters who project end of 1st in Cam Smith & James Tibbs
  • #9 Oklahoma doesn’t have much in prospect power, while Duke has a 2nd rounder LHP in Jonathan Santucci.
  • #10 NC State and South Carolina don’t have much in the way of 1st round projections right now.
  • #11 OK State has a potential late 1st rounder in Carson Benge. Florida is led by top-5 pick Jac Caglianone.
  • #12 UVA’s top rated star is SS Griff O’Farrell. MSU has a solid 1st round projected hitter in Dakota Jordan.
  • #13 AZ and DBU don’t have much in the way of star power, but their region’s #3 seed West Virginia team is led by likely top 8 pick JJ Weatherholt.
  • #14: UC Santa Barbara regional has some lesser known talents but no 1st rounders.
  • #15 Oregon State is of course led by possible 1-1 pick Travis Bazzanna
  • #16 ECU, as noted above, is led by top 10 pick RHP Trey Yesavage on the hill, and their regional foe Wake Forest is led by likely top 6 RHP Chase Burns. Wake also has likely top 5 pick Nick Kurtz and likely mid-1st rounder Seaver King for a star-studded lineup.

Written by Todd Boss

May 28th, 2024 at 8:01 am

2023 CWS Finals: LSU Wins!

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Requisite dogpile post-win image via usatoday

The Final of the 2023 CWS couldn’t have featured two better teams for the marquee matchup of the year. Florida entered the tournament as the #2 overall seed and was 4th in RPI, having been a mainstay in the top-25 rankings for most of the year. LSU was the #1 ranked team for a good part of the season before slipping to #7 as the tourney started, was 5th in RPI, was the 5th seed in the event, and features the likely first 2 picks in the draft.

Here’s how the finals between Florida and LSU played out. I thought that Florida had the huge advantage by virtue of setting up their rotation, and based on the fact that LSU burned its ace Paul Skenes to get into the event.

  • Game 1 LSU’s #2 starter Ty Floyd pitched the game of his life, going 8 innings with 17 Ks to keep his team in a close game. LSU chased Florida’s ace Brandon Sproat early but Florida’s bullpen held strong. LSU’s big hitters came up strong all game: Crews scored the lead off run, their cleanup hitter Dugas hit a solo homer in the 3rd, and the previous game’s hero White tied the game in the 8th with a solo shot. Like the LSU-Wake Forest CWS semi final, this went to the 11th inning, where another big bopper from LSU (their DH Beloso) blasted a homer to right for the game winning run.
  • Game 2: Florida exposed LSU’s lack of pitching depth badly, setting a CWS scoring record and making it embarrassing in the later innings, winning 24-4. Florida’s 1st round stud Wyatt Langford went 5-5, a triple shy of a cycle (he hit a double in the 8th that he just couldn’t leg out a triple on). Amazing hitting performance.
  • Game 3: We were setup for a cringe-worthy appearance from Skenes, who sits on 3 days rest from his epic 120 pitch performance, and the LSU coach probably is saying to himself, “If i don’t get some zero run innings out of my ace, we’re not winning this thing.” However, LSU’s big bats just exploded, with Dylan Crews going 4-6 with a walk, Tommy White going 4-7, and LSU ran away with it in the same way Florida ran away with game two. Sunday starter Tommy Hurd (who entered the game with an era in the 6s) had one of his best career performances, holding Florida to 2 hits in 6IP, and by the time Skenes started throwing a heavy ball in the bullpen LSU was up by a touchdown and their coach (thankfully) kept him out of the game. LSU wins a laugher 18-4 behinds 24 hits and takes home the crown for the first time since 2009.

Your 2023 College World Series Champion: LSU

Here’s some links to past years of CWS coverage here. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now! Each link below is the blog post covering that CWS final

Written by Todd Boss

June 27th, 2023 at 9:05 am

Posted in College/CWS

2023 CWS Super Regionals recap and CWS Preview

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We’re through the super regionals, and have a CWS field that is, frankly, stacked. It’s going to be a great CWS.

First, lets recap the Supers.

  • #1 Wake Forest v #16 Alabama: Wake Forest squeaked out a 5-4 opener, then blasted Alabama 22-5 to move to Omaha. In 5 post-season games, Wake has outscored its opponents 75-16. Wow.
  • #8 Stanford v Texas: Stanford lost the first but turned things around to squeak past Texas. In game 2, starter Quinn Matthews was allowed to finish a CG on 156 pitches despite an 8-3 lead in one of the more egregious abuses of a starter we’ve seen in the college game in some time.
  • #5 LSU v #12 Kentucky: LSU blasted Kentucky in game 1 as Paul Skenes wasn’t over-worked (as we can’t say the same for Matthews), getting yanked at 101 pitches in their 14-0 win. They finished off Ky 8-3 on Sunday.
  • Tennessee v Southern Miss: Tennessee came from a game down to advance past Southern Miss.
  • TCU v #14 Indiana State (TCU = host instead of the seed due to Indiana State hosting the Special Olympics): this cost Indiana State, as TCU took two straight to advance.
  • Oregon v Oral Roberts (Oregon = host); Oral Roberts blew a 5 run lead in game one, and STILL managed to advance, becoming just the 3rd fourth-seed from a regional to make it to Omaha since the expansion to 64 teams. (Stony Brook and Fresno State).
  • #7 UVA v Duke; Duke took out UVA in game one and looked good, but UVA took the next two to advance.
  • #2 Florida v #15 South Carolina: Florida took two close ones from South Carolina to advance.

Super Regional predictions vs Actual: I only got 4 of 8 in my previous predictions.

CWS Field (with original national seeds driving the teams):

  • Group 1 (1,4,5,8): Wake Forest, Tennessee, LSU, Stanford
  • Group 2 (2,3,6,7): Florida, TCU, Oral Roberts, UVA.

Prospect Watch. From Nats perspective all eyes are still on LSU, but now Florida is here too, meaning 3 of the likely top 5 picks are in Omaha for a star studded CWS from a prospect/scouting perspective. Here’s Keith Law’s take on the 15 major draft prospects in Omaha.

  • LSU: Dylan Crews and Paul Skenes, projected to go 1st and 2nd overall
  • Florida: Wyatt Langford, projected top 5 pick, along with another arm in Hurston Waldrep as a 1st round projection. A bit further down: Brandon Sproat, Josh Rivera.
  • Tennessee: Chase Dollander, who was in the 1-1 mix but who has struggled, continues to build up draft sock. A bit further down: Maui Atuna.
  • Wake Forest: Their RHP Rhett Lowder is a possible top 10. 3B Brock Wilken end of 1st round. A bit further down: Sean Sullivan LHP.
  • Virginia: their Catcher Kyle Teel and 3B Jake Gelof both top 50 prospects.
  • Stanford: SS Tommy Troy is a mid-1st rounder
  • TCU 3B Brayden Taylor an end of 1st rounder

So, lots of draft talent on display in Omaha.


My Predictions?

Group 1: Wake Forest over LSU in the group final, with Tennessee getting a win and Stanford going 2 and out.

Wake leads the nation in pitching … by a full POINT in team ERA. That’s amazing. And they’re no slouches at the plate either, as we’ve seen as they’ve averaged 15 runs a game in the post-season (they’re 5th in team OPS). So that’s a very balanced team. LSU likely throws Skenes in game one against Tennessee, but Tennessee’s been using Dollander as their 2nd starter, so they’ll throw him in an elimination game against Stanford to get an LSU rematch with both teams on their 3rd starter. But LSU’s pitching depth only goes so far, and Wake basically has 3 friday night starters to blow through the draw. Unless Skenes can get another start LSU will struggle to get past Wake and falls in the national semis.

Group 2: Virginia over Florida, with TCU and Oral Roberts finishing 3rd and 4th in some order. UVA leads the nation in team BA, is third in ERA, and will find a way to win. The problem is that UVA plays Florida in the opener and has proven to be a slow starter. But they’re deep and can withstand an early loss.

final: Wake over UVA in an all-ACC CWS final despite half the regional hosts being SEC.

Written by Todd Boss

June 15th, 2023 at 2:24 pm

Posted in College/CWS

2023 CWS Regionals Recap

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Its College Baseball post-season time, something we’ve followed in this space for years. Here’s a quick guide to the CWS 2023 post season.

First off, some resources for you.

Your top 8 seeds and favorites to make Omaha before play started, in order, along with their RPI and their Strength of Schedule (SoS) denoted:

  1. Wake Forest (RPI=1, SoS=33)
  2. Florida (4,17)
  3. Arkansas (3,4)
  4. Clemson (6,6)
  5. LSU (5,13)
  6. Vanderbilt (7,5)
  7. Virginia (10,57)
  8. Stanford (15,37)

Six of the top eight national seeds are also top 8 of RPI, with UVA getting dinged b/c they typically play such a poor mid-week schedule, and Stanford gets dinged despite crushing the Pac-12 because of a down year in that conference. The two missing top=8 RPI seeds?

  • Kentucky at #2 RPI based on their #1 strength of schedule. They’re the #12 overall seed, hosting a regional but set to go to LSU in the super regional, a dagger of a matchup for two good teams.
  • South Carolina at #8 RPI based on their #3 strength of schedule. They’re the #15 overall seed, meaning they project into #2 Florida for another potentially brutal all SEC super regional.

Local DC/MD/VA local teams in the tourney:

  • Virginia: a top 8 national seed, slightly over seeded. They get a somewhat easier regional with Oklahoma as their #2, and project to host Coastal Carolina in a super regional; they have a pretty clear path to Omaha.
  • George Mason makes the tourney for the first time in years, and for their troubles are a #4 seed heading to Wake Forest. Brutal draw.
  • Maryland also heading to Wake’s draw as that regional’s #2 seed; why these two teams aren’t in Charlottesville is kind of beyond me.
  • West Virginia is heading to Kentucky’s regional as that #2 seed; hard to see them getting out.

Other local teams who we thought had a chance: Virginia Tech’s rpi is 48, but they had a 12-17 ACC record. William & Mary was the next highest ranked DMV team; they were just .500 in CAA play. Liberty took a big step back this year, as did JMU when they matriculated a 1st round pick. Kind of a down year for local schools.


Quick Regional Recaps of the 16 regional action, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup

  • #1 Wake Forest silenced any doubters, winning this regional by a combined score of 48-7, topping the surprising mid-major George Mason in the regional final.
  • #16 Alabama made it look easy, cruising to 3 straight wins to take its regional.
  • #8 Stanford saved some fact by forcing a Monday decider against TAMU, and then completed the come back to advance.
  • #9 Miami was outclassed at home by Texas twice to lose the regional in a battle between two of college baseball’s most historic programs.
  • #5 LSU held serve and moved on in a regional that basically went chalk. LSU threw Skenes in the opener for some reason and he pitched a complete game versus Tulane (who entered the tourney 19-41). 9ip, 2ER 12Ks 0 walks. not sure why they didn’t hold him for Oregon State but it doesn’t matter since they advanced and he’ll go game 1 of the super regional.
  • #12 Kentucky lost in the winner’s bracket final but came out of the loser’s bracket to force the Monday decider. In that game, they edged Indiana to advance.
  • #4 Clemson lost a stunner of a 14 inning marathon to last year’s #1 team Tennessee and it seemed to deflate them; they didn’t even get back to the regional final as Tennessee tops Charlotte to advance and knock out the ACC power.
  • #13 Auburn got beat two straight as a host and Ivy League Penn was in the driver’s seat until Southern Miss beat them twice on Sunday to advance.
  • #3 Arkansas got embarrassed by TCU, who beat them 20-5 and 12-4 to take the regional and knock out the national seed.
  • #14 Indiana State outclassed a regional with big-conference names to move on as a mid-major.
  • #6 Vanderbilt shockingly lost to Xavier in the loser’s bracket to exit before even the regional final, clearing the way for Oregon to advance.
  • #11 Oklahoma State was absolutely shocked at home, going 2-and-out. The pundits predicted that Oral Roberts (the 4th seed here) was no slouch and indeed they took out Dallas Baptist to take the regional with relative ease.
  • #7 UVA won a regional that went perfectly chalk, as Army got outscored 25-2 and UVA beat ECU twice to move on.
  • #10 Coastal Carolina took a huge upset loss on the first day but took out Duke in the regional final to force the Monday winner-take-all. In that game, Duke turned on the offense and cruised 12-3 into the super regionals.
  • #2 Florida bounced back from total embarrassment as the #2 overall seed and beat Texas Tech twice to move on.
  • #15 South Carolina battered their way to the regional title, scoring 41 runs in 3 games.

Thus, your Super Regionals are ...

  • #1 Wake Forest v #16 Alabama
  • #8 Stanford v Texas
  • #5 LSU v #12 Kentucky
  • Tennessee v Southern Miss (Shockingly Southern Miss is the host, not the more famous Tennessee)
  • TCU v #14 Indiana State (TCU = host for some surprising reason)
  • Oregon v Oral Roberts (Oregon = host)
  • #7 UVA v Duke
  • #2 Florida v #15 South Carolina

Talk about carnage of top seeds. #3 Arkansas, #4 Clemson, #6 Vanderbilt all out, and without putting up much of a fight along the way. Just nine of the sixteen hosts advanced. There’s two super regionals that feature both regional hosts eliminated (how do they determine who hosts?) Both of the under-seeded teams by RPI ended up advancing, with South Carolina making a statement.

Super Regional predictions:

  • #1 Wake over Alabama
  • Texas upsets #8 Stanford
  • #5 LSU squeaks by #12 Kentucky (they won 2 of 3 in SEC regular season)
  • Tennessee takes out Southern Miss.
  • TCU continues its upset run over #14 Indiana State
  • Oregon over the Cinderella Oral Roberts
  • Duke upsets #7 UVA (they won 2 of 3 in Charlottesville in the ACC regular season)
  • #15 South Carolina over #2 Florida (they swept Florida in SEC regular season play)

Prospect Watch. From Nats perspective all eyes are on LSU’s super regional, since the top two projected picks both play there. We’ll revisit prospect watch based on the super regionals and who’s still playing. But your top prospects still playing:

  • LSU: Dylan Crews and Paul Skenes, projected to go 1st and 2nd overall
  • Florida: Wyatt Langford, projected top 5 pick, along with another arm in Hurston Waldrep as a 1st round projection.
  • Tennessee: Chase Dollander, who was in the 1-1 mix but who has struggled, continues to build up draft sock.
  • Wake Forest: Their RHP Rhett Lowder is a possible top 10. 3B Brock Wilken end of 1st round.
  • Virginia: their Catcher Kyle Teel and 3B Jake Gelof both top 50 prospects.
  • Miami: 3B Yohandy Morales is a mid-1st rounder
  • Stanford: SS Tommy Troy is a mid-1st rounder
  • TCU 3B Brayden Taylor an end of 1st rounder
  • Texas RHP Tanner Witt a comp-1st round projection

So, lots of draft talent on display this weekend.

Written by Todd Boss

June 6th, 2023 at 8:55 am

2022 CWS Finals: Ole Miss Wins!

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Ole Miss wins! Photo via Getty

Here’s how the finals between Ole Miss and Oklahoma played out:

  • Game 1 Ole Miss opted to go with a “bullpen game” instead of putting out their predicted starter on shorter rest, and it ended up paying off in spades. Reliever Jack Dougherty got the call. And he delivered, throwing 5 perfect innings to start the game before tiring in the 6th. Meanwhile Ole Miss’ bats delivered and put the game away in the 8th with back-to-back-to-back homers to win Game 1 10-3.
  • Game 2 saw a classic starter battle, as Ole Miss’ Hunter Elliott threw a solid 6ip 2run game, and Oklahoma’s Cade Horton was out of this world, striking out 13 in 7 1/3 innings. However, Horton ran out of gas, and Oklahoma’s bullpen absolutely imploded, giving up 3 runs in the 8th to seal their fate.

Your 2022 College World Series Champion: Ole Miss. They win their first ever CWS title, the year after Mississippi State wins their first. Great period for the southern state, a stalwart of baseball for decades. And they win without even getting to their ace starter. Amazing. Most pundits think Ole Miss was one of the last teams into this field of 64 (based on a losing SEC record and struggles during the latter part of the season), and now they’re champs.


This concludes the College Baseball season and our coverage of it for 2022.  I’ll post one more post that covers draftees and signing status for all local-connected players (prep and college) once the draft happens in mid July.


CWS links/resources

2022 CWS coverage:

Written by Todd Boss

June 27th, 2022 at 10:32 am

Posted in College/CWS

2022 CWS Group Play Recap and Final Prediction

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We’re to the final of the 2022 CWS tournament; here’s a recap of group play in Omaha.

Resources/links I use heavily during CWS time:


In the Top Bracket ( Notre Dame, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma )

  • In the opening games, TAMU’s pitchers couldn’t find the plate and Oklahoma blew them out. Then in the night cap, Notre Dame showed why its so dangerous, shutting down Texas with solid veteran pitching and getting hits up and down the lineup to win comfortably.
  • In the first elimination game, TAMU won an interminable slog of a game over state rival Texas to stay alive and send Texas (and their hitting coach Troy Tulowitzki) home as the first team eliminated.
  • In the winner’s bracket game, Oklahoma played solid ball on both sides and cooled the confident Notre Dame team, putting them in the driver’s seat for the CWS final.
  • In the play-in game, Notre Dame could get nothing going against TAMU and the veteran team exited 5-1, earning TAMU an old-school Big12 rematch against Oklahoma in the group final.
  • In the group final, Oklahoma held serve, topped TAMU 5-1, and advanced to the CWS final loss-less.

Final Group standings: Oklahoma, #5 TAMU, Notre Dame, #9 Texas


In the Bottom Bracket ( #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford )

  • In the opening games, Stanford’s Brock Jones hit a homer in the top of the first … and then it was all downhill from there for Stanford as they got obliterated by Arkansas 17-2. In the nightcap. Ole Miss continued to surprise, taking out Auburn 5-1 behind a dominant start from Dylan DeLucia.
  • In the first elimination game, the highest ranked team in the tournament (#2 Stanford) was sent packing by Auburn.
  • In the winner’s bracket game, Ole Miss looked unstoppable in racing away from Arkansas 13-5.
  • In the play-in game, Arkansas’ starter Will McEntire, their mid-week/#4 starter, was unhittable early and Arkansas battered Auburn’s taxed pitching staff to an easy win 11-1 and earn an all-SEC rematch in the group final.
  • In the group final, Arkansas won a nail-biter 3-2 to force the winner-take-all group final. From there though, DeLucia showed up again, throwing a 4-hit complete game shutout to send Ole miss to the final.

Final Group standings: Ole Miss, Arkansas, #14 Auburn, #2 Stanford


A strange CWS in that the unseeded teams really shined. However its important to remember that these are not your ordinary unseeded teams in Omaha.

  • Notre Dame was ranked as high as #2 this year by Baseball America in February and finished with the 2nd best overall record of any ACC team.
  • Ole Miss was literally the #1 team in the nation in March before struggling through its SEC slate and barely making the field.
  • Oklahoma kind of inexplicably didn’t get a national seed but headed into the post season ranked 9th by D1Baseball. It was only #19 in RPI .. but played a massive percentage of its games against top 50 opponents.
  • Arkansas was ranked #2 pre-season by d1baseball and is still a top 25 team.

CWS Preview and Prediction: one of the things I hate about the CWS final is that it gives the teams, who have been playing basically every day for a week, just one day off before a Sat-Sun-Mon final. This badly penalizes teams for getting their pitching stretched, and (for me) may dictate who wins. But logistically you can’t keep kids in Omaha for a month, so it is what it is.

Here’s who i think these teams will throw as starters:

  • Game 1 Sat 6/26: Jake Bennett for Oklahoma (10-3, 3.66 ERA) vs Hunter Elliott (5-3, 2.70 ERA)
  • Game 2 Sun 6/27: Cade Horton for Oklahoma (5-2, 5-24 ERA) vs John Gaddis (3-2, 4.31 ERA)
  • Game 3 Mon 6/28: David Sandlin for Oklahoma (9-4, 5.59 ERA) vs Dylan DeLucia (8-2, 3.68 ERA)

Lets be honest: Oklahoma’s pitching is not why they’re here. They have a staff ERA of 5.33 (but have battered opposing pitching to a 7.24 ERA on the season). Their ace Bennett should hold the fort in game 1. Their 2/3 starters have outplayed their stat-lines in Omaha; Horton gave up 2 runs in 6 IP and struck out 11 to beat Notre Dame to continue his late-season dominance: by most accounts he’s made himself a 1st rounder in this CWS and has lowered his ERA several points in the last few weeks. Sandlin absolutely dominated TAMU (7ip, 5hits, 12 Ks) to win their group. So, they’re showing up at the right time.

Ole Miss had to burn DeLucia to get here, meaning he can’t go until Game 3 (and it’d be on just 3 days rest after a 119 pitch outing; ugh says every MLB scout). However, Elliott is their “Ace” on the year and dominated Arkansas on Monday, so Game 1 should be great on both sides of the ball. In game 2 Ole Miss probably goes tandem with Gaddis and their other spot starter (Jack Washburn), who both served as spot starters for the team this year. Gaddis and Washburn combined to throw 7 innings of 3-run ball against Arkansas, but it wasn’t enough and they took a loss.

However, for me the story is Ole Miss not getting a start out of DeLucia until its possibly too late. I think game one may be relatively close, but expect Oklahoma to score runs (they’ve scored 24 in 3 games so far in Omaha) and ride fresher pitching to the title.

Prediction: Oklahoma in two.

Star Power/Players to watch in the final. Keith Law posted his 5 players to watch; they’ve mostly been mentioned in this space here or before, but here they are:

  • DeLucia: Law sees him as an org-arm/4A starter ceiling, but his stuff can play up and he may make for a nice 6-10th round pick.
  • Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss’ Catcher. He’ll either shine or be exposed this weekend, as Oklahoma runs like heck. He started the season as a 2nd round projection, but had an awful season at the plate and might very well refuse to sign wherever he goes and try again next year.
  • Peyton Graham, SS for Oklahoma. Probably the highest ranked player remaining, outside of where Horton has ascended to.
  • Bennett: good control, 4th starter ceiling.
  • Horton, as mentioned, would be a great Cole Henry like pick for the Nats in like the 2nd or 3rd if he’s still there.

Written by Todd Boss

June 24th, 2022 at 9:09 am

Posted in College/CWS

CWS 2022: Super Regional recap and CWS Preview

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Reminder, here’s my set of CWS resources:

Resources/links I use heavily during CWS time:

Here’s a quick run-through of the Super Regionals (the higher seed is the host in all cases; the teams are listed in classic 1-16, 8-9, 5-12 … format as this dictates the pools in Omaha. Bold = Winner.

  • #1 Tennessee vs Notre Dame: Notre Dame shocked the #1 team in the nation in Game 1, jumping way ahead early and holding on. Tennessee rebounded to blow out ND in game two 12-4 and force the decider. In that decider, ND’s senior leadership led to a huge upset, downing the #1 overall seed and ensuring that the #1 overall seed misses Omaha for the 3rd successive season with a 7-3. win.
  • #8 ECU vs #9 Texas: ECU dominated game 1, with Battlefield grad Zach Agnos playing SS and pitching the last two innings for the save. Texas turned the tables on ECU in game two, coming from 2-7 down in the 7th to walk it off in the 9th to force the game 3 decider. Unfortunately for ECU, Texas came out swinging in game 3 and blew away the Pirates to advance.
  • #5 TAMU vs #12 Louisville: TAMU got a walk-off win in game 1, winning in the 9th. In game 2 TAMU held on for a 4-3 win to be the first team to punch a ticket to Omaha.
  • #4 Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma: VaTech’s starter was wild early, and the Hokies couldn’t recover, dropping game 1 to the Sooners. Tech blew out Oklahoma in game two 14-8 to force the decider. In that decider, Oklahoma scored in 7 of the game’s 9 innings to overpower tech 11-2 to move to Omaha.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Auburn: Game 1 turned into a bullpen game, and Auburn held on for the upset win. Oregon State won a tense 4-3 battle in game 2 to force the monday finisher. there, the SEC team held serve and held on to take another close battle to advance.
  • Ole Miss vs #11 Southern Miss: USM’s pitching melted down to give up 7 runs to put the game 1 out of reach. In Game 2, Ole Miss’ pitching was dominant, giving up just 3 hits to a 5-0 win and a two game sweep. Lest we forget, Ole Miss was a 3-seed in its regional, now they’re going to Omaha.
  • Arkansas vs #10 UNC: Arkansas controlled game one with stellar starting pitching. In a thrilling game 2 finish, Arkansas scored two in the 9th to get a comeback, walk-off win to break UNC’s hearts and advance.
  • #2 Stanford vs UConn: UConn destroyed Stanford’s starter (the Pac12 pitcher of the year Alex Williams, getting him for 7 runs in the first inning and a half … then somehow survived Stanford scoring 6 in the bottom of the ninth to come up just short in a 13-12 thriller. Stanford 1st rounder Brock Jones had a 3-homer day and it still wasn’t enough. Stanford won comfortably 8-2 in the second game to force the Monday close-out game. Stanford controlled game three and was never really in jeopardy, punching their ticket to Omaha as the favorite thanks to #1 Tennessee’s ouster.

Summary: the seeds and hosts got shredded. #1 out, #3 out, #4 out, #10 and #11 swept by non-seeds.

My Super Regional predictions: #1 Tennessee, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma, #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford.

Super Regional actuals: Notre Dame, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma, #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford

So I got 7 of 8 predictions right. Missed on Tennessee like everyone else … though i will say the d1baseball guys really thought Notre Dame had a chance there, so its not a huge surprise.

Here’s your 2022 CWS field.

  • top half: : Notre Dame, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma
  • bottom half: #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford

Field discussion/Conference representation: 

  • ACC: 1: Notre Dame
  • SEC: 4: TAMU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn
  • Big12: 2: Texas, Oklahoma (ironically, both moving to SEC soon)
  • Pac12: 1: Stanford

SEC comes up big here, sending 4 teams to Omaha and 2 more who are actively moving to the SEC.  The ACC, despite being nearly on a par with the SEC from a conference ranking perspective, really came up short.


Star Power in the CWS: Here’s some of the big names and top 2022 draft prospects in the CWS. Not a lot; maybe a couple guys who could go in the back half of the first, maybe a couple 2nd rounders. This is definitely not like years past where we had upper 1st round arms all around.

  • Notre Dame: Jack Brannagan, RHP/3B two way guy, might be a 6th/7th rounder
  • Arkansas: Cayden Wallace, 3B. Perhaps a 3rd rounder. Helium guy, can play 3B or OF, great arm, showing a ton of power.
  • Arkansas: Robert Moore, 2B. Son of KC GM Dayton Moore, may be a 4th/5th rounder. Bat has struggled but still has speed.
  • Arkansas: Peyton Pallette, RHP: TJ surgery earlier this year, so not actually playing but projected as a 1st rounder perhaps before surgery. Might go 2nd round.
  • Oklahoma: Peyton Graham, SS. Perhaps a 2nd rounder. Really tall and skinny guy, unclear if sticking at short.
  • Oklahoma: Jake Bennett, LHP: Nats pick in 2019, big body lefty who can bring it mid 90s. 2nd/3rd rounder. His showing against Virginia Tech may have bumped him up a round or so, could be a riser.
  • Texas: Ivan Melendez, 1B; national leader in homers this year with 29 and made a run at the division 1 triple crown. 1B only, but will get drafted 2nd/3rd round
  • Texas: Silas Ardoin, C. Little recruited out of HS 3 years ago, now a solid C prospect; Perhaps 3rd round.
  • Texas: Trey Faltine, SS: defense-first, has slipped since being more highly regarded out of HS. Seems like a 5th rounder
  • Texas: Pete Hansen, LHP. Pitchability guy without overpowering stuff, maybe an 8th rounder
  • Ole Miss: Hayden Dunhurst, C. Not a big bat, likely an 8th-10th rounder
  • Ole Miss: Derek Diamond, RHP; not big stuff, might go in the teens.
  • Stanford: Brock Jones, OF who blew up in the super regional and looks like a late 1st rounder.
  • Stanford: Kody Huff, C might be a 5th/6th rounder.
  • Auburn: Sonny Dichara, 1B who is the team’s biggest slugger. Has just ridiculous stats this year (.392/.560/.809) but was undrafted out of HS and may go in the 5th-6th round.

Predictions? 

  • In the top-half…#5 TAMU over #9 Texas.
  • In the bottom half…#14 Auburn over #2 Stanford

Final: TAMU wins.

Written by Todd Boss

June 14th, 2022 at 9:31 am

Posted in College/CWS