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College World Series Update; The tourney is taking shape

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Not a good sign when you can't spell the name of your marquee event correctly.

Not a good sign when you can’t spell the name of your marquee event correctly.

Here’s a recap of the 2013 College World Series (CWS) so far.  We’re through the first four days of competition and we’re getting closer to a CWS final.

To recap the entire NCAA post-season tournament so far

A couple helpful resources for those who want to follow the College game: here’s a link to the CWS schedule page at d1baseball.com, which I use as the best way to quickly find all the core college site data.  And here’s the best (only?) College Baseball blog out there: CollegeBaseballDaily.com.

CWS Field: here’s the two Pots that will each determine a finalist:

  • Pot 1: UNC, NC State, UCLA, LSU
  • Pot 2: Mississippi State, Oregon State, Indiana, Louisville

Days 1-2:

  • Results: NC State beats UNC, UCLA beats LSU, Mississippi State beats Oregon State and Indiana beats Louisville.  My predictions were pretty bad; all four teams that I thought would win the openers lost; only Indiana-Louisville would not have been considered an “upset” by seeds.
  • Carlos Rodon for NC State pitched a complete game victory, giving up just one run on 5 hits against the #1 overall seed UNC.  Rodon’s post-season stats now stand as follows: 26 1/3 innings, 18 hits, 4 runs, 27Ks, 4 walks.  Hie continues building his draft pedigree for 2014 (he’s already considered one of the best, if not the best 2014 draft prospects).  If NC State can beat UCLA, they’ll get Rodon in the pot final on 4 days rest and could use him in game 3 of the finals on 4 days rest as well, an intruiging scenario for NC State’s chances at winning this tournament.  So instead of seeing marquee matchups in the winners brackets of both pots, we saw them in win-or-go-home games in the Losers bracket.
  • Aaron Nola for LSU took his first loss of the season, giving up 2 unearned runs in 8 innings to lose to UCLA.  Another upper-end sophomore pitching prospect, Nola has yet to give up an earned run in the post season and previously out-dueled 3rd overall pick Jonathan Grey in the super Regional by pitching a 2-hit shutout against Oklahoma.  But UCLA ground out an important victory.
  • Mississippi State scored twice in the 8th to take the 5-4 lead and held on against #3 overall Seed Oregon State.
  • Joey DeNato pitched a 4-hit shutout for Indiana and shut down Louisville.  DeNato is a college junior who (amazingly?) went undrafted in June (likely because of his size; he’s listed as 5’10″ 180 and probably is smaller).   He’s 24-8 for his college career and is only improving.  He could be a draft day find for someone in 2014.

Days 3-4:

  • Results: Oregon State eliminates Louisville, Mississippi State beats Indiana, UNC eliminates LSU, and UCLA beats NC State.
  • Louisville is the first team eliminated as their ace Jeff Thompson (a third round 2013 pick for Detroit) gets pounded for 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings.  Not a great way to end your college career.
  • Mississippi State puts itself in the driver’s seat to advance from Pot 2 with another 8th inning come-back to beat Indiana and now only needs one more win to get to the CWS final.
  • LSU, the team that I thought would win the CWS a few days ago, became the 2nd team to be eliminated by falling to #1 overall seed UNC.  Tar Heels freshman “Closer” Trent Thornton got the start and threw 7 decent innings to improve to 12-1 on the season.  The Tarheel’s offense got to LSU’s starter early to send my (and Baseball America pundits’) favorite home early.
  • UCLA put itself in the drivers seat of Pot 1 by beating NC State 2-1.  UCLA’s saturday starter Nick Vander Tuig (and San Francisco’s 6th round pick this year) junk-balled his way through 7 innings of 4-hit ball for the victory.

Where do we stand in the tournament now/What’s next?

  • The next two days feature Elimination games.
  • Oregon State-Indiana is tonight 6/19/13.  Loser goes home.  The winner has to beat Mississippi State twice to get to the CWS Final.
  • UNC faces NC State for the 5th time this season tomorrow night 6/20/13.  Loser goes home.  The winner has to then beat UCLA twice to get to the CWS final.
  • UCLA and Mississippi State are both heavily favored at this point to advance; they get to rest their bullpens and they can throw their #1 starters on full rest.

 

 

Written by Todd Boss

June 19th, 2013 at 9:13 am

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