In & around SEC baseball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

College World Series Review

Only five teams remain in the College World Series, and only one of those teams is from the Southeastern Conference.

Mississippi State defeated both Oregon State and Indiana, 5-4, and the Bulldogs are only three wins away from winning the national championship.

The Bulldogs played Oregon State first, once again relying heavily on their dominant bullpen to win the game.

Mississippi State took on Indiana in the second game. The Hoosiers beat Louisville in their opening game, 2-0. After falling behind early, the Bulldogs scored three runs in top of the eighth inning to secure a 5-4 victory.

In the losers bracket, Oregon State beat Louisville, and then the Beavers raced past the Hoosiers, 11-4.

Mississippi State will take on Oregon State on Friday (June 21). The Bulldogs only have to win once to reach the championship series, while the Beavers must defeat the Bulldogs twice in order to advance.

On the other side of the bracket, both North Carolina and LSU were upset in their respective opening games. The Tar Heels lost to in-state rival N.C. State, while the Tigers were unexpectedly defeated 2-1 by UCLA.

LSU had been one of the nation’s hottest teams entering the tournament, and the Tigers were considered a favorite to win the national title. However, LSU lost to North Carolina in the losers bracket, and the Tigers’ season came to a screeching halt in Omaha after only two games. LSU won the SEC tournament last month, and they breezed past opponents en route to their 16th College World Series appearance. The Tigers were the fourth seed overall in the tournament. LSU finished the season with a SEC-record 57 wins versus only 11 losses.

Of the five teams remaining in the College World Series, Mississippi State and UCLA are in the best position. Neither team has lost thus far, and each team only needs one victory to secure a spot in the championship series, which begins on Monday (June 24).

The Bulldogs must defeat Oregon State once more, and the Beavers are a dangerous team this time of year. Oregon State won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007, defeating North Carolina in both years.        

UCLA will face the winner of North Carolina and N.C. State. The Bruins defeated the Wolfpack, 2-1, in their last game. At this point in the tournament and in the season, any of the five remaining teams could easily win the national championship.

 
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