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Previewing Bracket 2 of CWS Play

TCU, Florida, Louisville, and Texas A&M make up the bracket opposite of OSU.

Twitter - @NCAACWS

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.

Louisville:

The #7 Cardinals (52-10) had some consistency issues in the later part of the year and in the ACC tournament. But when they get hot, they’re incredibly dangerous. The pitcher/first baseman/offensive powerhouse Brendan McKay won multiple player of the year awards already and was the fourth overall pick in this past week’s MLB Draft. Just about every batter on the roster is an offensive threat as well, which led to them 41 runs in five NCAA Tournament games. Plus, other than Oregon State, the Cardinals have the best pitching staff in Omaha with a 2.85 ERA.

Players To Watch:

Brendan McKay (.343 batting average, 54 runs, 56 RBIs, 72 hits,) (10-3, 2.43 ERA, 104 IP, 140 K)

Josh Stowers (.311 batting average, 49 runs, 59 hits, 22 stolen bases)

Drew Ellis (.367 batting average, 55 runs, 81 hits, 20 home runs, 61 RBIs)

Texas A&M:

The 41-21 Aggies didn’t earn a national seed for postseason play, but they obviously proved they belong taking the Houston regional and defeating Davidson in the Supers. You really can’t count out any SEC team when it comes to college baseball. The Aggies’ pitching staff has been pretty strong all year, boasting an ERA of 3.42 which is 15th in the country. They have a few different arms that can do some damage, so whoever they play will need to bring their offensive “A” game.

Players To Watch:

Braden Shewmake (.335 batting average, 47 runs, 89 hits, 68 RBIs)

Brigham Hill (8-3, 96.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 107 K)

Blake Kopetsky (.298 batting average, 31 runs, 57 hits)

TCU:

The Horned Frogs (47-16) are still looking for their first championship. That being said, this is their fourth straight year making it to Omaha. They’ve yet to lose in this postseason, showing that they more than earned their #6 national seed. They haven’t played a cupcake schedule either with wins over fellow Omaha invitees LSU and TAMU during the regular season. Offensively, be on the lookout for catcher Evan Skoug who has four home runs in his last five games.

Players To Watch:

Evan Skoug (.277 batting average, 58 runs, 67 hits, 20 home runs)

Jared Janczak (9-0, 1.97 ERA, 82.1 IP, 91 K)

Brian Howard (11-3, 3.95 ERA, 98 IP, 101 K)

Florida:

UF (47-18) surprisingly have no championships to their name, but this will be their 11th trip to Omaha. They have multiple future major league players on the roster, notably Alex Faedo. The Gators are the number three seed in the tournament and were in the top five for most of the year in every major poll. They surprisingly had a few scares on the way to this stage, dropping a game to Bethune-Cookman in the regionals and going down to the wire with Wake Forest in the Supers. We’ll soon see if they have the kinks worked out with their talent packed roster.

Players To Watch:

Alex Faedo (7-2, 2.55 ERA, 109.1 IP, 135 K)

Brady Singer (7-5, 3.29 ERA, 112 IP, 108 K)

JJ Schwarz (.271 batting average, 42 runs, 64 hits, 12 home runs)

Schedule:

Sun., June 18

Game 1: #7 Louisville vs. Texas A&M - 11 AM PT - ESPN

Game 2: #3 Florida vs. #6 TCU - 4 PM PT - ESPN2

Tue., June 20

Losers of June 18 Games - 11 AM PT - ESPN

Winner of June 18 Games - 4 PM PT - ESPN

(Further Schedule To Follow)

Prediction:

My prediction when this tournament started was that it would come down to Louisville and Oregon State in the final match-up. I’m gonna cautiously stand by that, and add that it will come down to them and Florida. The Gators have been the most consistently good of this team all year, but the Cardinals are just one of those squads that if you give them an inch, they’ll take a yard.