Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2024 CWS Coverage – Omaha Group Play and Finals preview


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


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

2 Responses to '2024 CWS Coverage – Omaha Group Play and Finals preview'

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  1. Just a reminder that the #1 seed hasn’t won this tourney in a quarter century, which is incredible.

    Third time in four years that it’s an all-SEC final, with the outlier among those four being Oklahoma, which of course is about to join the SEC.


    20 Jun 24 at 3:12 pm

  2. Combining CWS and the draft, the MLB Pipeline guys have Tennessee’s Christian Moore climbing up close to Nats’ territory:

    The headline teases “intel” from the combine, but the article itself really doesn’t include much. They have the Nats on Konnor Griffin, although not with any comment that they’ve actually heard anything. Callis: “There are teams who question the swing and how well it’s going to play against big league pitching, but in terms of ceiling, I think he’s got the highest ceiling the Draft. You’re talking a potential 30-30 guy who could be a plus defender at shortstop or a Gold Glove center fielder.”

    They have Wetherholt going somewhere 5-10, no idea how far the injury is going to drop Montgomery, and Kurtz falling to #9, so close to Nats territory. Unlike some other mocks, they still have Yesavage in the top 10 at #8. If any of the top collegians is going to be available at #10, it’s likely to be one or two from this quartet.

    Reasons not to sleep on Moore: the Nats have drafted Lipscomb and Lawson from the Vols and heavily scouted Dollander. They have a lot of connections to the UT program. Would they see Moore as a safer bet than one of the high school SS guys? (One caveat about Vol HR numbers is that they play their home games in a bandbox.)


    22 Jun 24 at 2:35 pm

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