NCAA College World Series Review
The Southeastern Conference sent three teams – the most of any league – to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series.
After the first stage of the tournament, two teams from the SEC remain in the battle to win the national championship.
LSU met Florida State in the Tigers’ opening game, and the Seminoles led for the majority of the contest. LSU trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning when right fielder Greg Diechmann drove in the game-winning run to secure a 5-4 victory.
Two days later, the Tigers met top-ranked Oregon State.
Entering the game, LSU and Oregon State had the two longest winning streaks in the country. The Beavers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, and the two teams engaged in a pitchers’ duel for nearly half of the game.
Oregon State tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth inning, however, and the Beavers exploded for five more in the top of the sixth. LSU scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but couldn’t muster the offense to stay in range. Oregon State won the game, 13-1, which was the worst loss LSU has suffered in six years.
The loss to Oregon State sent LSU to the losers’ bracket, where they met Florida State. The Tigers wasted no time in pouncing on the Seminoles. LSU scored five runs in the top of the second inning and they added two more in the top of the ninth. Florida State kept within striking distance but could not close the gap enough to threaten LSU.
LSU pitcher Jared Poche picked up the 39th win of his career, which broke the school record for career victories. The Tigers will look for revenge against Oregon State on Friday, June 23, when they must defeat the Beavers twice without losing to advance to the College World Series finals.
Third-ranked Florida met No. 6 Texas Christian in the Gators’ opening game, and pitcher Alex Faedo proved why he was a first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the recent MLB draft. Faedo pitched seven shutout innings and gave up only two hits to the Horned Frogs in a 3-0 Florida victory. Faedo struck out 11 TCU batters in the game, the most ever by a Florida pitcher in a College World Series game.
The Gators’ dominant pitching continued in their next game against No. 7 Louisville. Florida scored one run in the top of the third inning and three in the top of the fourth as they knocked off the Cardinals, 5-1. The Gators await the winner of the elimination game between TCU and Louisville and need just one win to advance to the College World Series finals.
Texas A&M was the most surprising team in the eight-team field in Omaha. The Aggies were a No. 3 seed in the regional yet still advanced to the College World Series. Unsurprisingly, the Aggies’ stay in Omaha was short-lived. A five-run second inning propelled Louisville to an 8-4 win over Texas A&M in the opening game. In the elimination game, TCU jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Aggies in the first three innings, and the Texas A&M offense could not recover. The Horned Frogs won the contest, 4-1, and the Aggies’ season came to an end with a 41-22 record.
An All-SEC College World Series final is still on the table between LSU and Florida, but it’s a difficult path for the Tigers in their quest to win the national title. LSU must beat Oregon State twice in a row, and the Beavers have only lost four times all year. Oregon State is 56-4 on the season and dismantled the Tigers, 13-1, in their first meeting.
Florida is in much better position to reach the finals considering the Gators only need to win one more game before losing two to get there. It’s shaping up to be an Oregon State/Florida showdown for the national title.
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NCAA College World Series Review