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Previewing Bracket 1 of CWS Play

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The Beavers face Fullerton in game 1 on Saturday.

Twitter - Oregon State Baseball - @BeaverBaseball

As a reminder for those unfamiliar with the format in Omaha, the eight teams are divided into two four team brackets. Similar to regional play, each bracket plays double elimination until all but one team has lost twice. The winners of each bracket then play one another in a best of three series to determine the national champion.

Oregon State:

The 54-4 number one overall seed have found ways to win all year. They’ve stormed through the postseason up to this point sweeping both the Corvallis Regional and Super Regional. Holy Cross, Yale, and Vanderbilt combined for 9 runs in postseason play against an OSU squad that’s tallied 44 in the postseason. Their current win streak sits at 21 games as the Beavers look like the most complete team of the tournament. OSU is playing for their third overall championship and their first since 2007. Even with a major departure from their pitching lineup, the Beavs are set to make some noise in Omaha.

Players To Watch:

Jake Thompson (14-0, 1.52 ERA, 118.1 IP, 113 K, 36 BB, .184 B/AVG)

Nick Madrigal (.383, 85 H, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 16 SB)

KJ Harrison (.330, 66 H, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 7 SB)

CSU Fullerton:

The 39-22 Titans (ranked #20 by D1 Baseball and #43 in the RPI) were the winners of the Stanford Regional and defeated Long Beach State in three games in Super Regional play. They’re no strangers to Omaha as this marks their 18th appearance in the CWS and their second in the last three years. Their history also includes four national titles, the most recent in 2004. In 2017, they’ve been reasonably impressive on offense with 44 home runs and a slugging percentage of .403. Their pitching staff is also fairly impressive ranking fourth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings (2.41), sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.14) and eighth in fielding percentage (.981).

Players To Watch:

Colton Eastman (2-0, 1.09 ERA, 33.0 IP, 37 K, 12 BB, 10.09 Ks per nine innings)

Scott Hurst (.332, 80 H, 12 HR, 39 RBI, 7 SB)

Brett Conine (0-1, 1.49 ERA, 42.1 IP, 40 K, 6 BB, 15 Saves)

Louisiana State:

LSU (48-17) impressed all year on their way to earning the fourth overall seed. They won the the SEC Tournament earlier this year, a conference that was as competitive this year as it has ever been. They’ve blown through their postseason opponents thus far, winning their last 16 games. Like Oregon State, they’re a very complete team without an obvious weakness. The Tigers will be playing for their seventh national title. Their last one came in 2009.

Players To Watch:

Cole Freeman (.327, 80 H, 2 HR, 41 RBI, 18 SB)

Greg Deichmann (.320, 77 H, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 48 BB)

Alex Lange (9-5, 2.92 ERA, 111.0 IP, 134 K, 40 BB, .233 B/AVG)

Florida State:

The 45-21 Seminoles were the surprise ACC Tournament champions after going 14-14 in conference play during the regular season. They hosted the Tallahassee Regional and scraped through to win after dropping their first regional game. FSU hosted Cinderella-esque Sam Houston State in the Super Regionals and clinched their spot in Omaha with a 19-0 win. While they’ve never won the national championship, this is their 40th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament and their legendary head coach Mike Martin has the highest winning percentage of all active DI coaches.

Players To Watch:

Jackson Lueck (.327, 65 H, 9 HR, 54 RBI, 6 SB)

Dylan Busby (.315, 74 H, 20 2B, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 9 SB)

Tyler Holton (10-2, 2.25 ERA, 112.0 IP, 139 K, 29 BB, .171 B/AVG)

Schedule:

Sat., June 17

Game 1: Cal State Fullerton vs. #1Oregon State - Noon PT - ESPN

Game 2: #4 LSU vs. Florida State - 5 PM PT - ESPN

Mon., June 19

Losers of June 17 Games - 11 AM PT - ESPN

Winner of June 17 Games - 4 PM PT - ESPN

(Further Schedule To Follow)

Prediction:

I really think it will be between LSU and Oregon State to win this bracket. Both are very well rounded and have a lot of momentum in their favor. It’s just about who will break first. Then again, I was sure that Vandy would present more of a challenge to OSU and was pleasantly surprised.