By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
NCAA Super Regionals Review
Six teams from the Southeastern Conference made the 16-team super regionals field, and the conference – by far the most of any conference – and the league will have the most participants in the College World Series.
Texas A&M was a No. 3 seed in the regionals, but the Aggies advanced to the super regionals. Ordinarily, a three-seed would not be in position to host a super regional, but the Aggies caught a break when No. 4 seed Davidson upset the top teams in its regional to advance. Texas A&M defeated Davidson, 7-6, in the opening game in 15 innings and they dominated the second game, 12-6, to advance to the College World Series for the sixth time in school history.
Florida has been one of the best teams in the country all season long, though they hadn’t played well down the stretch of the season. The Gators matched up with Wake Forest in the super regionals and escaped the first game with a 2-1 victory. The Demon Deacons won the second game, 8-6, after a rain delay, but the Gators prevailed in the final game, 3-0, to advance to the College World Series for the third straight season.
One of the eight super regionals was an all-SEC affair. LSU hosted SEC West rival Mississippi State, and the Tigers won the first game, 4-3. After weather pushed the se-cond game back a day, LSU exploded for a 14-4 win. LSU has now won 16 straight games and are appearing in the College World Series for the 18th time in school history.
Vanderbilt traveled to take on the No. 1 team in the country in Oregon State and the Commodores’ season came to an end in Corvallis. The Beavers won the first game, 8-4, and cruised to a 9-2 win in the second game. Vanderbilt finished the season at 36-25-1.
Kentucky’s quest to make the College World Series ended at the hands of cross-state rival Louisville. The Cardinals took the first game, 5-2, and won the second game, 6-2. Kentucky ended the year with a 43-23 record.
NCAA College World Series Preview
LSU and Florida’s appearances in the College World Series were expected. The Tigers and Gators were both national seeds, meaning that they were ranked in the top eight before the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M’s berth in the CWS was the most surprising of any team that made the eight-team field. The Aggies are the only three-seed in the field but are no strangers to Omaha.
The Aggies have made six trips to the CWS in school history, with the latest trip occurring in 2011. A&M faces Louisville in the Aggies’ first game of the CWS on Saturday, June 17.
Florida has had one of the best baseball programs in college baseball over the last two decades but has never won a national title. The Gators were runners-up in 2005 and 2011 and have made 11 trips to Omaha in school history. Florida opens up the tournament with a matchup against TCU.
No program in college baseball has been as good as LSU over the last three decades. The Tigers have won all six of their national championships since 1991 and have made 18 College World Series since 1986. LSU is playing as well as any team in the country at the moment. The Tigers open the tournament against Florida State.
Bracket 1 matchups
No. 1 Oregon State vs. Cal State-Fullerton
No. 4 LSU vs. Florida State
Bracket 2 matchups
No. 7 Louisville vs. Texas A&M
No. 3 Florida vs. No. 6 Texas Christian
College World Series prediction: LSU over Oregon State