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College World Series Team Preview: Washington Huskies

The Huskies have put together an impressive postseason run to make their first College World Series

Washington Athletics

Washington Huskies


The Skinny

This year’s College World Series lineup is full of historical powers and former champions; the one exception is the Washington Huskies. Washington has made the NCAA Tournament a handful of times in its history, but never reached the big stage until this year.

A great run through the Pac 12 Conference saw the Huskies a few outs away from becoming the conference champions before Stanford rallied to take the crown. Following that, the Huskies were selected as the three seed for the Conway Regional, hosted by Coastal Carolina. They won their first game against rival Huskies UConn, before knocking the hosting Chanticleers into the losers’ bracket.

In the rematch against Connecticut, UW won 9-6 to advance to the Super Regional. They were matched against the only other surviving three seed, Cal State Fullerton. Unlike the Huskies, the Titans had quite the CWS pedigree, making regular appearances and winning four championships.

The series would prove to be quite the challenge for Washington, but the Huskies rose to the occasion. The Huskies took game one 8-5, while the Titans took game two 5-2. The final game to decide who would get to go to Omaha then went into extra innings, where some good batting (and some improbable events) sent the Huskies through.

Strong pitching has brought the Huskies pretty far. Their rotation is led by ace Joe DeMers, who also fills in as a reliever when the team needs him. DeMers threw Washington’s first ever perfect game earlier this season against UC Riverside. DeMers has a 2.56 ERA, and has accumulated 7 wins and 3 saves over the season.

The team’s infield has been responsible for the bulk of their offense, with AJ Graffanino and Levi Jordan the team’s best hitter and slugger, respectively. Those two were responsible for the heroics that kept the team alive against Fullerton.

I imagine many people would peg the Huskies as the weakest team in the World Series lineup, but they’re a dangerous squad. They’ve gotten hot at the right time, and have the tools in place to damage to anyone who underestimates them.


Number to Know: 1

This wasn’t just the first trip to Omaha for the Huskies, this was the first time they made it to Super Regionals. We’re in the middle of the best season Washington baseball has ever had, and it’s been very exciting seeing this team develop over the year.

History Against Oregon State:

As conference rivals, these teams have a long history together. Earlier this year the Beavers took the season series 2-1. Overall, the Beavers have the edge with a 240-194-2 all time series record.

Schedule:

Washington takes on Mississippi State on Saturday at 5 PM PT. The winner of that game will go on to face the winner of Oregon State vs North Carolina on Monday, while the losers of each game will play each other.