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2018 CWS tournament: Regional Results, Super-Regional Pairings

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CWS coverage for 2018:

Now we’re through the Regionals and the field has been winnowed from 64 to just 16.

We’ll review the 16 regionals in order of the larger bracket.  Bold is the host and Bolded Red is the winner.  We’ll also highlight significant players and/or guys who are big names in the upcoming draft as we get to them.

It was a crazy set of regionals; by Sunday night only 6 of the 16 brackets were decided; a slew of regionals were forced to monday games (two weather delays involved).  And we saw one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.  Read on.


Regional Recaps

1. Florida region finish: Florida, FAU, Jacksonville, Columbia.  FAU gave #1 overall seed a scare, but ultimately lost in the final.  They did put a beat-down on Florida #2 Jackson Kowar, which may have cost him 25 slots in the draft.
16. NC State region finish: Auburn, NC State, Army, Northeastern.  #3 seed Northeastern does not do a good job defending critics of their getting an at-large bid.  NC State inexplicably loses to Army to open the regional and cannot overcome Auburn to lose on its home turf.

2. Stanford region finish: Cal-State Fullerton, Stanford, Baylor, Wright State.  The #2 overall national seed goes out to perennial power Fullerton, losing two close games.  Fullerton advances as a #3 regional seed, probably under-seeded when all is said and done, but Baylor really under-performed here.
15. Coastal Carolina region finish: Washington, UConn, Coastal Carolina, LIU-Brooklyn.   Host CCU out early; they lost to Washington in the winner’s bracket and then Leesburg’s Zack Hopeck gave them 5 solid innings in the elimination game but the bullpen fell apart against UConn.  Pac-12 Washington advances as the #3 regional seed.

3. Oregon State region finish: Oregon State, LSU, Northwestern State, San Diego State; surprise 2-and-out showing from the Mountain West champ.  Oregon State absolutely destroyed this regional, outscoring their opponents 35-4 in three games.  Look out for this team.
14. Minnesota region finish: Minnesota, UCLA, Gonzaga, Canisius.  Minnesota cruised through this regional.

4. Ole Miss region finish: Tennessee Tech, Ole Miss,  Missouri State, St. Louis; huge upset here, with tiny Tennessee Tech ousting the #4 national seed Ole Miss, coming back through the loser’s bracket and beating them in a double header to end the weekend.
13. Texas region finish: Texas, Indiana, TAMU, Texas Southern.  In the end, a chalk finish though Indiana worked their way through the loser’s bracket to get to the regional final before losing a close one.

5. Arkansas region finish: Arkansas, Dallas Baptist, Southern Miss, Oral Roberts; host Arkansas wasn’t pushed til the final, overcoming regional powerhouse Dallas Baptist to advance.
12. ECU region finish: South Carolina, UNC-W, ECU, Ohio State.  Another poor showing from the Big10 as #3 Ohio State falls to CAA team UNC-W in the elimination game.  UNC-W is no slouch team, but its still an upset.  They made the region final as a #4 seed before falling to the SEC power.

6. UNC region finish: UNC, Houston, Purdue, NC A&T: UNC won a slug-fest over regional powerhouse Houston 19-11 to advance.
11. Stetson region finish: Stetson, Oklahoma State, South Florida, Hartford; Stetson dominated this regional and looks like a tough out.

7. Florida State region finish: Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Samford, Florida State.  The #7 national seed goes 2-and-out in its own regional.  There was some talk about Fla State not being as deserving of a national seed as some of its other ACC brothers … but nobody expected this.
10. Clemson region finish: Vanderbilt, Clemson, St. Johns, Morehead State.  Tough regional puts two quality teams together, and the SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt advances.

8. Georgia region finish: Duke, Georgia, Troy, Campbell.  Duke came out of the loser’s bracket after a shock opening game loss to win the regional and send the national #8 seed home.
9. Texas Tech region finish: Texas Tech, Louisville Kent State, New Mexico State; this regional  goes exactly chalk, with Texas Tech never really troubled (it won its three games by 7,6,5).


Predictions versus Actuals

My Predictions: Florida, Auburn, Stanford, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, Minnesota, Ole Miss, TAMU, Arkansas, South Carolina, UNC, Stetson,  Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, Texas Tech

Actuals; Florida, Auburn, Cal-State Fullerton, Washington,  Oregon State, Minnesota, Tennessee Tech, Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, UNC, Stetson, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Texas Tech

I got just 9 of 16 right.


Summary of Regionals statistically:

  • Just 8 of 16 hosts advanced.
  • Four of the 8 national seeds fell: #2 Stanford, #4 Ole Miss, #7 Florida State, #8 Georgia
  • #10, #12, #15 and #16 also fell: #10 Clemson, #12 ECU, #15 Coastal Carolina and #16 NC State.
  • 8 number one seeds, 6 number two seeds, 2 number three seeds, and 0 number four seeds advance to the super regionals.  
  • 1 number of #4 seeds who didn’t finish 4th in their regional; Northwestern State, Dallas Baptist (a strong #4),  Florida Atlantic, UNC-Wilmington, Kent State, Army, Wright State
  • 2: number of #4 seeds to get opening wins.  Army beat #1 seed NC State in the opener, Wright State (who beat Florida State in the opener)
  • Most surprising regional winner: Tennessee Tech, even though they were a #2 regional seed.
  • First time Super Regionalists: Tennessee Tech and Stetson.

Conference Breakdowns of the teams in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC: Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt
  • ACC: Duke, UNC
  • Big12: Texas Tech, Texas
  • Pac12: Oregon State, Washington
  • Big 10: Minnesota
  • Big West: Cal State Fullerton
  • Others: Tennessee Tech, Stetson

6 of the 16 remaining teams from the SEC; no other conference has more than two.  Interestingly though, all 6 SEC teams are matched up in the super regionals, guaranteeing 3 of the 8 CWS spots to be from the powerhouse conference.


Super Regional Matchups:  the higher ranked team is the host in each case.  I’ve organized this as they feed into CWS brackets, not 1-16 seeds.  In cases where neither ranked team advanced, the NCAA decides based on suitability of each site.  On 6/5/18 they announced the host sites and I’ve denoted them below.  Basically they decided to give the two more storied schools hosting duties.

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota
  • #6 UNC  vs #11 Stetson
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt (host)
  • Cal State Fullerton (host) vs Washington

 


Super Regional Thoughts/Predictions

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn: Florida took 2 of 3 at home against Auburn in the regular season, beating Casey Mize in the process.  
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech: Duke advanced while other, better ACC teams did not; I don’t know if they can top the powerful Texas Tech team.
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina: Arkansas beat South Carolina in the SEC tourney opener; only time they played this year.
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas; Texas surprised me by coming out of a regional with an SEC team; you’d think they could overcome the tiny Tennessee Tech team.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota.  Oregon State is my odds-on favorite to make the CWS final and Minnesota isn’t stopping them.
  • #6 UNC vs #11 Stetson: UNC is going to have to work for this one, as they likely get beat by Stetson’s ace Logan Gilbert on Friday.
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt: Vandy swept Mississippi State on their turf late in the season, and probably sweep them this coming weekend.
  • Cal State Fullerton vs Washington; Fullerton just easily beat a better Pac-12 team in Stanford; do we think the 3rd place Pac-12 team is going to fare better?

 

Super Regional Star Power

Lots of top-end draft picks will be playing this weekend, just ahead of the MLB draft which starts on 6/12/17.  By Super Regional:

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn: #1 overall pick Casey Mize, top picks Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Jonathan India (#5 overall) from Florida.  Great pitching match-ups in here.  
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech: Griffin Conine
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota; Nick Madrigal (#4 overall), plus 1st-day picks Trevor Larnach and Cayden Grenier on a stacked OSU team.
  • #6 UNC vs #11 Stetson: Stetson’s ace Logan Gilbert was #14 overall pick.
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt
  • Cal State Fullerton vs Washington

CWS Predictions: Florida, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Texas, Oregon State, Stetson, Vanderbilt, CS-Fullerton

This would probably favor a Florida-Oregon State final from the initial look of it, though Oregon State’s draw is much, much deeper than Florida’s potential path.


College CWS tournament references:

CWS 2018: Field of 64 announced with Regional predictions

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CWS-2018_calendar-narrow

First College Baseball post of the season!   And it comes with the announcement of the field of 64 for the 2018 tournament.

Here’s a nice summary of the field from d1baseball.com, including a conference breakdown.

Quick summary of the field: No Miami, no UVA, no TCU in big surprises for big programs.  The field is also missing perennial powers like Rice and Wichita State this year.  Kentucky seems to be the biggest snub … but they were sub .500 in their league and was one-and-done in the SEC tournament.  One win there and they’re probably in.  Northeastern probably the most controversial at-large bid, having their one-bid conference slot “stolen” by UNC-W but not really having earned it on their season.  There’s some sniffling at the national seeding of (in particular) the ACC teams, but otherwise most of the pundits I read think this is a pretty solid field.

Here’s your National seeds:

1. Florida
2. Stanford
3. Oregon State
4. Ole Miss
5. Arkansas
6. UNC
7. Florida State
8. Georgia

That’s a solid SEC showing; four of the top 8 national seeds and 10 teams overall in the tourney.

Next seeds

9. Texas Tech
10. Clemson
11. Stetson
12. ECU
13. Texas
14. Minnesota
15. Coastal Carolina
16. NC State.


 

Quick predictions (here i’ve put in the teams by Super Regional match-up):

1. Florida; cakewalk regional; their #2 is Jacksonville?  See you in a couple weeks.
16. NC State: Get the seed over Auburn; if they save their Ace NC State could be in the Loser’s bracket really quickly.  I think Auburn advances here.

2. Stanford: got no favors by getting the always-tough Cal State Fullerton team in their regional, but their #2 seed Baylor is manageable.
15. Coastal Carolina: gets UConn as their #2 seed and their tough arm Tim Cate.  Coastal has played tough down the stretch though and should advance.

3. Oregon State; tough regional with LSU and San Diego State; Oregon State will have to earn this.  Part of me hopes they go out early so the Heimlich stories die soon.
14. Minnesota; gets two west coast teams in UCLA and Gonzaga; i do not give Big10 baseball teams much credit … but they might be able to handle UCLA this year.

4. Ole Miss; gets a tough Missouri State team (with top draft prospect Jeremey Eierman), but i’m not sure they’re that scared of their #2 Tennessee Tech.
13. Texas: i’d be more scared of TAMU as a 3-seed than Indiana as a #2 seed this year.  TAMU somehow is a #3 seed despite being a top 16 team by RPI and possibly being in the host discussion.  Meanwhile Texas is not as strong as its #13 seed in this tournament looks … I smell an upset here.

5. Arkansas: gets two traditional smaller-school baseball powers in Southern Miss and Dallas Baptist; does anyone ever know how these teams will fare?
12. ECU: gets a tough #2 in South Carolina; can they survive the SEC power?  I’m not sure they can and think South Carolina advances.

6. UNC: gets a manageable region thanks to a Big10 team as their #2 seed.
11. Stetson: two great arms in this region in Gilbert and McClanahan with USF … but Oklahoma State looms too.

7. Florida State: A solid regional here with SEC and Big12 powers.  Florida State is always a tough out though.
10. Clemson gets Vanderbilt again … which means one good team goes home early, again.

8. Georgia: they should be able to get past Duke in this weaker regional.
9. Texas Tech has to face off against Louisville, who for the first time in a few years doesn’t have a top-10 draft pick leading their line.


 

Local rooting interests in the tournament: amazingly, zero DC/MD/VA colleges made this tournament.  No UVA, no Maryland, no Liberty, no VCU or ODU or any of the CAA teams that sometimes sneak in.  Here’s a quick peek at the DC/MD/VA players I could think of who will be playing:

  • #12 Seed ECU has the former dominant LHP Jake Agnos (Battlefield HS in Haymarket) on their staff; he had 80 Ks in 60 innings split between starting and relief roles and stepped it up in the post-season tourney.
  • LSU moved Zach Hess (Lynchburg/Liberty Christian Academy) into the rotation this year and he was the saturday starter all spring; he went 7-5 with a 4.43 ERA and saw his draft stock drop significantly (he’s a draft-eligible sophomore this year).  I wonder if he stays in school another year to rebuild value as a starter.
  • #15 Coastal Carolina has several Virginia-natives in starting roles, including weekend starter Zack Hopeck (Heritage HS in Leesburg) and starting OF Kieton Rivers (Nansemond River HS in Suffolk).
  • #16 NC State has three VA-natives on their pitching staff, including staff-ERA leading Kent Klyman (Jamestown HS in Williamsburg).
  • South Carolina’s friday starter is Cody Morris, who dominated Maryland prep for Reservoir HS in Laurel.  They also feature a starting catcher Hunter Taylor from Nandua HS in Onley VA.

Significant Draft picks from the top seeds worth noting: here’s some of the guys we’re hearing rumors about being 1st rounders in June:

  • Florida; no wonder they’re #1: they may have three guys taken in the top 10 picks.  Weekend starters Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and clean-up hitter Jonathan India the players to watch, plus Michael Byrne who was All American pre-season as their closer.
  • Stanford: paced by two top-end starters getting 1st round buzz in Kris Bubic and Tristan Beck.
  • Oregon State: Nick Madrigal may be a top 5 guy and be lightening fast to the majors.  Ace is the highly controversial Luke Heimlich (if you don’t know who he is … he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated a few weeks back; google it).  OF Trevor Larnach is getting some 1st round buzz too.
  • Ole Miss; Ace starter Ryan Rolison was the top prospect in the Cape Cod league last  year.
  • Florida State: Tyler Holton was All-American last year and pre-season All American again this year.
  • Auburn: likely 1-1 Casey Mize is their friday starter.
  • Stetson: ace Logan Gilbert has seen his stock fall but is still likely a mid-1st rounder.
  • South Florida’s ace Shane McClanahan could go high.
  • Duke’s Griffin Conine has a famous pedigree and could be a 1st-day pick.
  • Texas Tech’s starter Steve Gingery has a long line of awards behind his name.
  • Clemson’s Seth Beer has been mashing ever since he arrived at school, winning the Dick Howser award as a freshman.  He could be a sleeper pick late in the 1st round.

2017 Draft coverage; Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2017 draft

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J.B. Bukauskas, three years after being a potential first round pick out of Stone Bridge in Ashburn, may be a top 10 pick in 2017 out of UNC. Photo via chapelboro.com

J.B. Bukauskas, three years after being a potential first round pick out of Stone Bridge in Ashburn, may be a top 10 pick in 2017 out of UNC. Photo via chapelboro.com

Hello all.  I’ve been slacking on local high school and college coverage this season, partly because there’s not nearly as exciting of a class as last year (when the DC area had two guys picked in the first three rounds in Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee, in addition to a HS all-american in Zach Hess down at Liberty Christian).  But here’s a quick review of my 2017 Local Draft Prospect list.   By “local” I generally mean anyone from DC, MD or VA, with a focus on DC-Metro kids.

This list has essentially turned into a massive “Best players from the area” list, with mention given to nearly every kid who has shown up on an accolades list in the last couple of years.  Only a few of the prep kids are going to get drafted, but it is interesting to me to track where they’re going to school.  Lots of these college commitments may be out of date; an early commit often turns into a rejection once college coaches see how their recruiting classes gel.  So if I have a kid wrong, my apologies and let me know in the comments.


Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2017

This list started with my 2014 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2014 who went to 3-year programs and who are now eligible.  Since we’ve augmented it with locally tied guys who have put themselves into draft positions by virtue of collegiate or summer league performances.  I separate “major prospects” from the lower list in that these guys have usually gotten some sort of national press, top-100 list type of press, and are good bets all to get drafted in the first 5-6 rounds this coming June.  The first few names are all being talked about as potential 1st rounders or 2nd rounders.

  • “Jacob” J.B. Bukauskus, RHP from UNC by way of Stone Bridge HS in Ashburn.  A 2014 HS All American who chose to go to college.  Spent 2016 as UNC’s saturday starter and blew up to the tune of a 13 K/9 rate his sophomore year.  Projecting now as an upper 1st rounder.  2016 Collegiate National Team and briefly in the Cape.  Projecting as possible top-10 pick.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team.
  • Pavin Smith is a big lefty 1B/OF at UVA; he has been a significant member of the UVA lineup during his career.  All-League Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Projecting as possible end-of-1st rounder.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team, fantastic 2017 season now has him projecting as a possible top-10 pick.
  • Adam Haseley, OF/RHP from UVA.  Great on the mound for UVA in 2016, worked solely in the field in Cape Cod League 2016.  Projecting now as 2nd rounder.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team.  Like his teammate, Haseley’s 2017 season has put him in the upper first round territory.

From the top 3 guys here, there’s a gap to the next group:

  • Kevin Smith, INF From Maryland.  Cape Cod league summer standout of 2016, being named MVP of the final and All-League.  Projecting now as 2nd rounder.
  • Tyler Johnson RHP from South Carolina by way of Trinity Episcopal, Richmond.  8th/9th inning reliever for SC as a sophomore.   2016 Collegiate National Team.  Projecting as 3rd/4th rounder.
  • Ernie Clement, 2b/SS from UVA.  All League Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Big Cape showing now pushing his draft stock way up; possible 3rd rounder.
  • Hunter Williams LHP from UNC by way of Cosby HS in Chesterfield, VA.  A mid-week starter in 2016, may move into the weekend rotation for 2017.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016, where he posted a 1.10 era.  Cape showing pushing him into 4th round discussions.
  • Tommy Doyle, RHP at UVA by way of Flint Hill HS (hometown: Vienna).  Began 2016 as UVA’s Sunday starter, converted to be their closer by season’s end.
  • Brian Mims, 2B/SS UNC-Wilmington by way of Forest Park HS in Woodbridge: Multiple All-american honors as a sophomore in 2016.  2016 Collegiate National Team invitee
  • Nick Feight, C UNC-Wilmington by way of Battlefield HS in Haymarket: Multiple All-american honors as a sophomore in 2016.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  2016 Collegiate National Team invitee.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 1st team.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

This list is defined as “lesser” prospects in that they’re not getting “first few rounds” publicity, but seem like in most cases draft candidates.  I don’t mean to imply that “lesser” means they’re any less of a player; they’re just not getting “J.B. Bukauskas” hype.  I’d guess most every name on this list will get called in June, some in the 6-8th round, perhaps others down in the 15-25th round range.  Some may opt to forgo the draft bonus they’re offered and return for their senior season.  Some are almost guaranteed to return thanks to injury or circumstance, but they’re all draft eligible this year.

  • Sam Donko, RHP (closer) from VCU. 2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 1st team.
  • Cullen Large, 2B from W&M.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 3rd team.
  • Keenan Bartlett, RHP from Richmond
  • Packy Naughton, RHP Virginia Tech.  All League Cape Code 2016, giving him some helium as potential 5th rounder.
  • Brian Shaffer, RHP at Maryland; on d1Bsaeball’s top 100 draft prospects lists, came out of nowhere.
  • Zach Rutherford, 2b/SS from ODU by way of Western Branch HS in Chesapeake VA.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016.  All-League Cape Cod league summer of 2016, which put him into 4th-5th round discussions.
  • Derek Casey, RHP from UVA by way of Hanover HS (Mechanicsville).  Underwent Tommy John surgery early in his sophomore year and never appeared his junior year, so likely returns to school to be a 4th year junior draftee in 2017.  However he’s draft eligible in 2017 and, if he has a great return season, he could put himself back in the conversation.
  • Taylor Lane, a shortstop from Chesapeake, transferred to IMG academy for college, went to Florida, transferred to Northwest Florida State and having a good 2016 season leading off for them.
  • Charlie Cody 3B from UVA by way of Great Bridge HS in Chesapeake.  Not starting as a sophomore; more of a super sub.
  • Jeff “Junior” Harding went to Cambridge-South Dorchester here locally.  He went to South Carolina, transferred to Chipola College in Florida, got drafted by KC in the 20th round last year.  I’m not entirely sure if he signed; he may either be in KC’s system or be draft eligible again in 2016.  Update: he got drafted again in 2017, in the 17th round, so no he didn’t sign last year.
  • Brodie Leftridge is an OF at U Tennessee by way of Highland MD/St. John’s HS in DC.  Part-time player at UT his sophomore year.
  • Hunter Taylor, a C at South Carolina by way of Nandua HS in Olney, VA.  Has barely played in 2016.
  • Bennett Sousa is a LHP from UVA; 2016 bullpen member, limited use.
  • Zach Clinton is a RHP from Liberty U by way of Liberty Christian HS.  He’s not on their active stat sheet but still seems to be on the roster; I cannot tell where he is these days.
  • Zack Hopeck, RHP from Coastal Carolina by way of Heritage HS in Leesburg.  Mid-week starter for CCU as a sophomore during their CWS run.
  • Canaan Cropper RHP from South Carolina by way of Salisbury HS.  Minimal action as a sophomore.
  • Nick Brown: RHP William & Mary by way of Patriot HS in Gainesville, VA.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Logan Farrar: VCU by way of Woodbridge HS.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Ryan Selmer, RHP from Maryland by way of Riverdale Baptist HS (lives in Beltsville, MD).  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Robert Metz, 2b/SS from George Washington by way of Poolesville HS.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Gavin Sheets, 1B from Wake Forest by way of Gilman HS in Lutherville, MD.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Nicholas Dunn, INF from Maryland.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Kyle Adams, C from Richmond.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Joseph Freiday, C from Virginia Tech.   Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • D.J. Artis, OF from Liberty.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Chase Pinder, OF from Clemson by way of Poquoson HS.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Hit 11 homers playing CF in sophomore year; could be a draft board riser.
  • Peter Soloman, RHP from Notre Dame by way of Mt. St. Josephs HS in Ellicott City, MD.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Jason Morgan, RHP from UNC by way of Chancellor HS in Fredericksburg, VA.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Sam Sinnen, RHP from ODU by way of Kellam HS in Norfolk.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.

 

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2017.  It seems like its a “down” year for local prep players, especially compared to 2016 w/ Rizzo/Lee, but there’s still some very good prep players in the area.  I’m sure we’ll see some draft fliers on some of the names towards the top of this list.  Its tough to keep track of college commitments and I depend mostly on perfectgame.org, so if I have something wrong here definitely pipe up in the comments.

  • Kyle Whitten, RHP/1B from Osbourn Park in Manassas, VA. WWBA 2015 with Team Stars, 2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At the USA Baseball 18U national trials in June 2016 (and made 40-man roster).  Early commit to UVA.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.
  • Tyler Solomon, C/1B from Battlefield HS in Haymarket, VA.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, 2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.  At the USA Baseball 18U national trials in June 2016.  Early commit to Vanderbilt.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016. WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Austine Jeremy Arocho, SS from Old Mill HS in Glen Burnie, MD.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, 2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.   18U National team trials.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Area Code Games 2016. WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.  Was early commit to Maryland, Now committed to Northwest Florida State College.
  • Anthony Simonelli RHP from Millbrook in Winchester, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Coastal Carolina.  Stars 17u Reds at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017.
  • Michael Ludowig, OF from Briar Woods.  2016 All-5A North Region as a junior.  Evoshield Canes 16-U team 2016, early commit to Wake Forest.  Evoshield Mid-Atlantic 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.
  • Connor Hartigan, OF from Millbrook in Winchester, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.   All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  At PG National 2016.  Stars 17u Reds at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Was Early commit to Coastal Carolina, now committed to University of South Carolina-Sumter.
  • Harold Cortijo, OF/RHP from Riverdale Baptist.  2016 all-Met as a junior.  2016 American Family All-Maryland 1st team as a junior.  No summer team.  Early commit to  Seminole State College of Florida.  Huge 2017 put him on the map as Maryland gatorade player of the year.

There’s a gap between the above and this next group:

  • Antonio Menendez RHP Herndon HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  Wake Forest early commit.  Team Dirtbags at WWBA 2016 (the champs)
  • Randy Bednar LHP from Landon by way of Bethesda MD, early commit to Maryland.  2015 All-Met as a *sophomore*.
  • Will Liverpool, RHP from Mclean HS in McLean, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.  Early commit to West Virginia.
  • Christian Pitura, SS/OF from Chantilly in Fairfax, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  No college commitment yet but looking at a slew of virginia schools.
  • Brett Boggs, OF Battlefield HS from Haymarket, VA.  2016 All 6-A North Region and all 6-A State.  No summer team, early commit to VMI.
  • Isaak Lyons Utility Player West Springfield HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  Stars summer 2016, just committed to GMU.
  • Ryan Miles, inf/RHP from Woodbridge,   Richmond Braves 2016 team, just committed to GMU.
  • Jake Williams Pitcher West Springfield HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  No summer team, no college commitment.
  • James Price RHP Patriot HS in Bristow, VA.   2016 Stars.  Committed to GMU.
  • Evan Antonellis, SS from Potomac HS in Woodbridge.  2016 All 5-A North region 1st team.  2016 All-5A State.  2nd-team All-Met 2016.  No perfectgame.org profile.
  • Will Merriken, LHP from Kettle Run.  #1 Starter on 2016 state semifinalist team.
  • Justin Pearson, LHP from Mountain View.  #3 starter on 2016 state semifinalist team.
  • Raffy Baumgarner, Util from Bulliss.  2nd-team All-Met 2016.
  • Sam Ewald, ? position Kettle Run.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.
  • Josh Simon, OF St. Johns in DC.  American Family 2016 1st team All-DC as a junior.
  • Toma Shigaki-Than, RHP Oakton HS.  Stars Showcase Baseball 17U at PG nationals 2016.  Committed to Duke.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.  Most of these players are south of here, from Richmond or the Tidewater area.  There’s good baseball down south.  :-)

  • Matt Cooper, C/1B from Norfolk Academy.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Clemson.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.   PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016.
  • Tanner Morris, MIF from St Anne’s-Belfield HS/Miller School of Albemarle.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, VISAA A All-State 2016.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.   At PG National 2016.  Early commit to UVA.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.   PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.  BA Top 100 list #78 (only local player on list).
  • Hunter “Will” Perdue, RHP/1B from Grassfield HS in  Chesapeake, VA.  2015 WWBA with Richmond Braves, early commit to UVA.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Richmond Braves 17u Jones at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Andrew Abbott, LHP from Halifax County HS in Nathalie, VA .  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.   2016 All-5A North Region as a junior.  2016 All-5A State.  Early commit to UVA.   Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Mikey Polansky, 1b/3B from Hickory HS.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.  Early commit to Virginia Tech.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.

Gap between the above guys and the rest:

  • Eric Stock, SS from Greenbrier Christian.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Early commit to ODU.
  • Brandon Dorsey, 3B from Calvert Hall HS in Mount Airy, MD.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to UNC.
  • Ethan Gallagher, OF from Mount St. Josephs HS in Catonsville.   At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Wake Forest.
  • Nolan Caler, MIF from Hanover  HS in Mechanicsville, VA.   2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.
  • Hunter Cochrane RHP/1B from Glen Allen HS in Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  Committed to Hampden-Sydney College.
  • Eli Ottinger, RHP from Benedictine HS, Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.
  • Josh Pittman, RHP/MIF from Highland School in Elkwood, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Timmy Stephan, ? position from Highland School in Elkwood, VA.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.
  • Callaway Sigler, OF from Deep Run HS in Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.
  • William “Will”  Simon, 1B/RHP from Benedictine HS, Richmond, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  Early commit to URichmond.
  • Evan Justice, RHP from Collegiate School.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Daniel Brooks, RHP Spotsylvania.  3-A East all-region 1st team in 2016.
  • RJ Payne, 1B William Monroe.  1st team 3-A Wast all-region and all-state in 2016.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Cole Jackson, Util Poquoson.  3-A East all-region 1st team in 2016.
  • Chin Moss, SS First Colonial.  All 6-A south region 2016.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Eric Zimmerman, OF Colonial Forge.  All 6-A south region 2016
  • Pearce Howard OF, Liberty Christian Academy. All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Noah Cook, MIF Liberty Christian Academy.  Starters on great 2016 team.  Early commit to VMI.
  • Hunter Johnson, MIF Liberty Christian Academy.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A all-state as a junior
  • Junior Devine, RHP from Jamestown (Williamsburg).  #2 starter on great 2016 team.
  • Michael Schmidt, ? position from Jamestown (Williamsburg).  #2 starter on great 2016 team.
  • Jarrid Johnson, ? position from Nansemond River.  Starter on good 2016 team.
  • Harrison Moncure, RHP for Mills Godwin.  Starter on good 2016 team.
  • Cale Agee, 2B from Louisa.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A all-state as a junior.
  • Aaron Robinson, C from Monacan.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.
  • Matthew Culbreath, 3B from Dinwiddie.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Matt Carter, Util from Caroline HS.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.   VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Matt Pinson, RHP from Maggie Walker HS.  VHSL 2A player of the year as a junior.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Hunter Gregory, RHP from Hickory HS.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Tyler Knapp, Util from Menchville HS.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.
  • Riley Clifford, 2b/SS from First Colonial HS.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Rufus Hurdle, OF from Western Branch HS.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  All 6-A South Region and all 6-A State as a junior.
  • Hogan Brown, OF from Cox.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Alec Giles, OF from First Colonial.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Dalton Jackson, 1B from Great Bridge. 2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Logan Barker, 2B from Colonial Forge.  First team All 6-A south region 2016, 1st team All 6-A State as a junior.  Evoshield North 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Early commit to Marshall U.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Carson Stanley, util from Rustburg.   1st team 3-A Wast all-region and all-state in 2016.
  • Grant Burleson, inf from Parkside HS in Salisbury.  2016 American Family All-Maryland 2nd team as a junior.  Evoshield Mid-Atlantic 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Early commit to Maryland.
  • Austin Smallwood, ? from Eastside HS.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.

 

Sources used

Written by Todd Boss

June 1st, 2017 at 10:07 am

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

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2016 CWS Finals: Coastal Carolina Wins!

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CCU wins! Photo via twitter just as it happened.

CCU wins! Photo via twitter just as it happened.

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2016:


Here’s how the Finals played out.  My predictions on the starters to be used was completely off, with each team opting to save their marquee arms for the decider.

  • In Game One on 6/27/16, Arizona’s #3 starter J.C. Cloney pitched like an All-american, throwing a CG 4-hitter to beat Coastal Carolina 3-0 in game 1.   CCU threw their mid-week starter (and Leesburg Native) Zack Hopeck, who gave up 2 runs in 6+ innings to take the loss.  CCU just couldn’t do anything with Cloney and now face a very uphill climb, having to beat Arizona’s two aces.
  • In Game Two on 6/28/16, Arizona mixed us all up by going with Kevin Ginkel on the hill instead of presumed starter Nathan Bannister (who left his last start with “arm tightness” and clearly was still injured) who pitched masterfully but his bullpen let him down.  Meanwhile, CCU’s Mike Morrison struck out 10 in 6 2/3rds and the bullpen held while CCU scored three in the 8th to get a lead that Arizona couldn’t quite get back, losing 5-4.
  • Game three was rained out, so the NCAA (inexplicably) decided to play the national title game on 6/30/16 at 1pm .. meaning that instead of a sold out stadium they had just a few hundred fans in attendance.  Nonetheless, CCU threw its post-season ace Andrew Beckwith while Arizona countered with their own Bobby Dalbec and the two arms traded zeros for 5 innings.  In the top of the 6th, a 2-out mis-play by Arizona’s 2nd basemen led to two unearned runs, followed quickly by a 2-run homer by G.K. Young for four unearned runs in a flash.  In the bottom of the frame, Arizona got two unearned runs back themselves.  CCU held on despite a furious Arizona rally where they had the winning runs on base to take game three 4-3 and win their first ever NCAA title in any sport.

CCU finishes the season 55-18, leading the nation in wins.  In case anyone thinks this is some huge massive cinderella … CCU was ranked in the top 25 pre-season and had 6 guys drafted this year.  They weren’t a huge star-power team like Florida; just a solid baseball team that came together at the right time.  Andrew Beckwith was named the “mvp” (technically the Most Outstanding Player) for the CWS 2016.

Your 2016 College World Series Champion: Coastal Carolina University


This concludes the College Baseball season and our coverage of it for 2016.  I’ll post one more post that covers draftees and signing status for all local-connected players (prep and college).  I don’t really cover the summer leagues: for that I’d suggest NovaBaseball.com, which is really coming into its own in terms of local coverage for all players with local ties.


College CWS tournament references:

 

Written by Todd Boss

July 1st, 2016 at 9:08 am

CWS Group Winners and CWS Final preview for 2016

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Andrew Beckwith's side-winding action leads Coastal Carolina into the CWS final. Picture via myrtlebeachonline.com

Andrew Beckwith’s side-winding action leads Coastal Carolina into the CWS final. Picture via myrtlebeachonline.com

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2016:


Lets review the CWS group play.  The CWS plays just one or two games a day; a far cry from the first weekend, where 64 teams played hundreds of games over the course of a long weekend.  So this post has been written in one or two sentence increments for a week and a half…

My pre-CWS predictions were Florida from the top and Miami from the bottom.  Lets see how things turned out.


In the Top Bracket (#Florida, Coastal Carolina, #5 Texas Tech, #13 TCU)

  • In the opening games, TCU’s all-american freshman Luken Baker crushed a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th to beat Texas Tech 5-3 in the opener.  In the other opener, Coastal Carolina shocked #1 overall seed Florida  2-1 behind a dominant effort from their Ace Andrew Beckwith (a college junior who went undrafted this year).  CCU got two runs against Florida’s ace Logan Shore, who then gave way to Nats 1st rounder Dane Dunning, who threw 2 2/3rds shutout in relief to hold the fort down for the offense, which never came through.  Huge upset to start the bracket.  Beckwith’s sidewinding and unorthodox delivery carried him to a 12-1 record on the season but left  him completely off the draft boards of all 30 teams, highlighting an interesting anachronism of college baseball.  There are “college pitchers” who get recruited thanks to such an unorthodox style who are never going to be pro prospects.
  • In the first elimination game, Florida faced Texas Tech in a battle of upset losers.  Florida threw their sophomore fireballer Alex Faedo, who leaked a couple of runs early.  Florida couldn’t get to Texas Tech’s starter, who gave way to closer and Nats draft pick Hayden Howard.  Florida rallied for 2 runs with their season on the line but it wasn’t enough; Florida goes two and out, shocking me and the rest of the college baseball world.
  • In the winners bracket game to take control of the group, TCU kept pecking away at Coastal’s pitchers, eventually winning easily 6-1.  Baker was again a stud, hitting another homer and going 3-3 with a walk.  2018 upper 1st rounder in the making already.
  • In the play-in game to the group final, Texas Tech faced of with Coastal Carolina, who outlasted the last remaining national seed 7-5 to eliminate Texas Tech.
  • In the group final, Coastal Carolina got a complete game gem from its sidewinder Beckwith to win 4-1 and force a winner-take-all game.  In that game, Coastal Carolina jumped ahead early and never looked back, taking a 7-1 lead in the 4th and making it stick 7-5.

Final Group standings: Coastal Carolina, #13 TCU, #5 Texas Tech, #1 Florida

Group winner advancing to the CWS finals: Coastal Carolina.

 


In the Bottom Bracket (Arizona, #3 Miami, Oklahoma State, UC Santa Barbara)

  • In the opening games, Oklahoma State stole a run early and made it stick behind a 5-hitter from Thomas Hatch (3rd round pick to Chicago Cubs) to beat UCSB 1-0 in the tourney opener, spoiling Shane Bieber‘s gem (4th round pick of Cleveland).  In the night cap, Arizona’s senior-heavy offense stuck 3 early on Miami sophomore starter Michael Mediavilla while their starter Nathan Bannister (28th round pick to Seattle) struck out 11 through 7 to cruise to a 5-1 upset victory.
  • In the first elimination game, bracket favorite Miami faced upstart UCSB, and promptly went 2-and-out on the game’s biggest stage.  UCSB got to Miami starter Danny Garcia (15th round pick by Seattle) and despite their star 1st rounder Zack Collins reaching base all four times up, Miami couldn’t tie the game late.  They lose 5-3 and are out.
  • In the winners bracket game to take control of the group, Oklahoma State beat Arizona’s stud Bobby Dalbec (4th round pick, as a 3B, by Boston) by the same 1-0 score they got by UCSB in the first game.  OK State’s Tyler Buffett (7th round pick by Houston) went 8IP giving up just 3 hits in the win.  We’re starting to see why the pundits like OK State.
  • In the play-in game to the group final, UCSB faced off against Arizona in a meeting of the two remaining West Coast representatives.  UCSB’s luck ran out with a 3-0 loss to Arizona, eliminating the Gauchos.
  • In the group final, Arizona’s closer Cameron Ming threw 5 innings to seal a victory after its starter Bannister went down with arm tightness, and Arizona forced a winner-take-all game.  In that game, Arizona’s Dalbec got his revenge, shutting down OK State’s ace Hatch and Arizona shocked them to advance.

Final Group standings: Arizona, Oklahoma State, UC Santa Barbara, #3 Miami

Group winner advancing to the CWS finals: Arizona, the 4th place team from the Pac-12.

 


CWS finals discussion: Games 1,2,3 set for June 27th, 28th and 29th.

Well, my predictions were to go chalk with #1 Florida facing #3 Miami.  Instead, those two teams were the first two eliminated in CWS pool play and we get perhaps the most unlikely CWS final matchup we’ve seen since Fresno State.  Coastal Carolina comes from a one-bid league that had never previously sent a team to Omaha … yet they’re no cinderella.  CCU is a major baseball program in a major baseball state.  They’re an experienced team that ran away with their conference and played games against the big boys when they could.  Arizona comes with a great pedigree, a national title in the last 5 years, and no expectations; they have a first year coach and are coming from a conference that clearly had a “down” year.

Both teams’  ideal rotation match-ups are out of order thanks to both having advanced out of the loser’s bracket.  Arizona’s rotation has been pretty consistent; they’ll go 3-1-2 in the CWS final.  All three of their starters have sub 3.00 ERAs and mostly gaudy W/L records.  CCU’s ace is Beckwith; he threw a CG 137 pitch game on Friday 6/24; he’d be on 3-days rest for the 6/27 opener so he’d be more likely to start Game 2.   Long reliever Mike Morrison is available to be “tandem” with CCU’s 4th starter Bilous (CCU’s missing one of their normal weekend starters Tyler Poole to injury).   So here’s my guess as to the pitching match-ups:

Game 1: CCU’s Alex Cunningham (9-3, 3.58 ERA) versus JC Cloney (6-4, 2.86 ERA)

Game 2: CCU’s Andrew Beckwith (12-1, 2.72 ERA) versus Nathan Bannister (11-2, 2.71 ERA)

Game 3: CCU’s Jason Bilous (3-1, 4.04 ERA) versus  Bobby Dalbec (10-4, 2.93 ERA)

Prediction: CCU in three.

Of note: CCU has two “local” guys on the roster:  Zack Hopeck so (Heritage HS in Leesburg) and Keiton Rivers Fr (Nansemond River in Suffolk).  Hopeck looked like he was a mid-week starter and hasn’t seen much action in the post-season, and Rivers got just 13 ABs all year as a freshman backup.


College CWS tournament references:

 

2016 CWS Super-Regionals recap and CWS field

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"Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning throwing from the mound during the first inning. Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes. February 22nd, 2015. Gator Country photo by David Bowie. "

Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning throwing from the mound during the first inning. Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes. February 22nd, 2015. Gator Country photo by David Bowie.

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2016:

Here’s how the super-regionals went down: we’ll look at these regionals in the original order of the top 8 national seeds.  Red indicates the winner.

  • #1 Florida vs #16 Florida State: a rematch of last year’s super-regional and a chance for Florida State to redeem itself after losing all three of their mid-week matchups this year.  In game one, Florida State’s starter Drew Carlton threw a 2-hit shutout and beat Florida’s #3 starter (why did Florida start Alex Faedo?) in game one to put Florida behind the 8-ball.  In game 2, Florida DID start their ace Logan Shore, and he threw 8 innings of 2-hit ball himself to even the series.  In the final, Florida’s 6th overall pick A.J. Puk lasted just 3 2/3s .. but the Nats’ first round pick Dane Dunning threw 4 1/3 shutout ball to help seal an easy 7-0 victory to help Florida become the final team to advance.
  • #2 Louisville vs UC Santa Barbara: This is why they play the games, so to speak.  Highly favored Louisville went down two straight to UC Santa Barbara, losing with their Ace Brendan McKay on day one and when their #2 Drew Harrington handed a 3-run lead to their 1st round closer Zack Burdi in Game 2; Burdi promptly loaded the bases and then gave up a walk-off Grand Slam to a pinch-hitter Sam Cohen who had just one HR this year.  The video is pretty amazing.
  • #3 Miami vs Boston College: Miami’s bats got to BC’s Ace Justin Dunn and then opened up the game late for a 12-7 game one victory.  BC came back to force a decider, but Miami won out to advance.
  • #4 TAMU vs #13 TCU: TCU bashed their way to an 8-2 surprise game 1 victory.  TAMU came back with a comprehensive 7-1 win in game two to force the decider.   TCU’s Brian Howard gave up just 2 hits and one unearned run over 7 innings to solidify a comfortable 5-1 deciding victory and send TCU back to the CWS.
  • #5 Texas Tech vs ECU: ECU jumped out in Game 1 with a five-run 5th to knock out TT’s starter and held on with Matt Bridges striking out 6 of the 8 batters he faced to close out the upset win.  Texas Tech won game two and then destoyed ECU 11-0 in the decider to advance.
  • #6 Mississippi State vs Arizona: Arizona got nearly a complete game shutout of its starter Bobby Dalbec, who threw 8 2/3rds shutout innings before getting lifted with 2-on in the bottom of the 9th.  Arizona’s closer made quick work of the final batter to preserve the game 1 upset.  Game two went to extras, but Arizona got the walkoff run to win 6-5 and advance.
  • Oklahoma State vs #10 South Carolina: Despite not being the “seeded” team, Oklahoma State made quick work of South Carolina in 2 straight to punch a CWS ticket.
  • #8 LSU vs Coastal Carolina: Coastal won a slug-fest 11-8 in game one to put LSU in a precarious position.  Game 2 was closer and had a great finish, with LSU tying it in the top of the 9th and Coastal Carolina getting a walk-off single to win and advance to their first CWS.

My Original Predictions: #1 Florida, #2 Louisville, #3 Miami, #4 TAMU, ECU, #6 Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, #8 LSU

How it turned out: #1 Florida, UC Santa Barbara, #3 Miami, #13 TCU, #5 Texas Tech, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Coastal Carolina


CWS Field and Profiles

Top Bracket:

  • #1 Florida: 2nd Place SEC Eastern Division, 2nd Place SEC tournament.  52-14 overall record, (19-10 in conference).
  • Coastal Carolina: Big South Regular season champ.  Big South post-season champ.  49-16 (21-3).
  • #5 Texas Tech: Big 12 Regular Season champ.  46-18 regular season (19-5).
  • #13 TCU: 3rd place Big 12 regular season, Big 12 conference tourney champion.  47-16 (15-9).

Bottom Bracket

  • Arizona: 4th place Pac12 regular season.  44-21 regular season (16-14).
  • #3 Miami: 1st Place ACC Coastal Division.  2nd Place ACC tournament.  50-12 regular season (21-7).
  • Oklahoma State: 2nd Place Big 12 regular season.  41-20 regular season (16-8).
  • UC Santa Barbara: 3rd place Big West Regular season.  42-18-1 regular season (13-11)

CWS field review by the numbers

  • Just 1 from the SEC (Florida) despite 7 bids
  • Just 1 from the ACC (Miami) despite 10 bids
  • 3 from the Big 12 (Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU) despite only getting 3 bids.
  • 1 from the Pac 12 (Arizona)
  • 2 from elsewhere: UC Santa Barbara from the Big West, Coastal Carolina from Big South

CWS Field thoughts

Two first time CWS participants in UC Santa Barbara and Coastal Carolina.  The return of Arizona (the 2012 champ).  Presumptive favorite Miami (college royalty).  Some Big-12 muscle in a sport dominated by the ACC and SEC.  And the #1 overall seed, who has been favored from day one to win this thing.  A very interesting field.  I’m kind of shocked that Louisville and Texas A&M got upset … but TAMU losing to TCU wasn’t really that much of a shock based on their super regional from last  year.  All three Big12 teams who made the field advance to Omaha; that’s pretty impressive (then again, you really had to squint to find even a 4th team from that conference worth inviting).

In the top half: Despite their struggles getting past Florida State, I don’t see the teams in Florida’s bracket troubling them.   Texas Tech beat TCU 2 of 3 this year at TCU and I see them being the 2nd place team.  Coastal Carolina likely goes 2-and-out in Omaha.  I think it’ll go Florida, Texas Tech, TCU, Coastal.

In the bottom  half, Miami has a pretty clear pathway to an all-Florida CWS final.  I think they’ll handle Arizona in the first while OK State won’t be troubled by UC Santa Barbara.  The bracket goes Miami, OK State, Arizona, UC Santa Barbara.  I’m somewhat wary of picking Miami over Oklahoma State and wouldn’t be shocked if OK State made the final, but for now i’m picking chalk of the two best seeds remaining.

Quick predictions: Florida from the top, Miami from the bottom.  Florida already beat Miami 2 of 3 in Miami this year and will be favored to win 2 of 3 again on a neutral field.

Player Star power in this CWS: By team, here’s the guys to look for either for Nats interest or for overall talent/draft position:

  • Florida: had 8 players taken in the first 10 rounds, including two 1st rounders (6th overall pick A.J. Puk and the Nats 1st round pick Dane Dunning), three 2nd rounders (Ace Logan Shore, MD-native Buddy Reed and slugger Pete Alonso) and their closer Shaun Anderson (3rd rounder and 2013 Nats draft pick).   Just a ton of talent here, which is why they were #1 overall seed and are the presumptive favorites.  Logan Shore was the sole Golden Spikes semi finalist, and was named a finalist for the award this week.
  • Coastal Carolina: 4th rounder Michael Paez is the highest drafted player of 6 taken.  CCU has a couple of players with VA roots (Zack Hopeck from Heritage HS and Keiton Rivers from new 5A state champs Nansemond River) but neither are regular starters.  Closer Austen Kitchen was on the Freshman All-american team.
  • Texas Tech: 10 players taken in the draft, but none before the 8th round.  Nats 12th rounder Hayden Howard is ostensibly the closer and should see some time.  But Texas Tech’s strength is in its  youth: they had two players named Freshmen All-americans this year (Davis Martin and Steven Gingery).
  • TCU: 6 players drafted, none before the 13th round.  But they’re clearly a young team: Starter Dalton Horton, closer Durbin Feltman, OF Josh Watson and perhaps the best player on the team Luken Baker were named to the Freshman All-american team.  Baker was a very highly regarded draft prospect last year but opted for college and has not stopped  hitting since.
  • Arizona: 4th rounder Bobby Dalbec is the highest drafted player this year on AZ’s team.  Ace Nathan Bannister went 10-2 but was just a 28th round pick.
  • Miami: Led by 10th overall pick Zack Collins (a Golden Spikes semi-finalist), Miami had two other 6th rounders and 7 overall picks.
  • Oklahoma State: ten picks in this draft, led by 3rd rounder Tom Hatch and 5th rounder Donnie Walton.  Have a starter Jensen Elliott named Freshman All-American.
  • UC Santa Barbara: 4th rounder Shane Bieber and four other draft picks.

 


College CWS tournament references: