Oregon State was impressive in the Corvallis Super Regional this past weekend, sweeping the very talented Minnesota Golden Gophers (No. 14) in the Beavers last home series of 2018. Goss Stadium was rocking all weekend as Beaver Nation saw their squad punch their ticket to their seventh College World Series.
Frame it! pic.twitter.com/57CF1Ab6mf— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 10, 2018
Game 1: Oregon State 8 Minnesota 1
Game 2:Oregon State 6 Minnesota 4
Still smiling. pic.twitter.com/TfbEzlDa4y— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 10, 2018
First up for the Beavers in Omaha is the North Carolina Tar Heels, whom the Beavers defeated 11 years ago in the CWS to claim back-to-back National Titles in 2007. Oregon State will take on the Tar Heels in the first game of the CWS tomorrow.
The first round of the College World Series is the same structure as the NCAA Regionals, where it’s a double elimination tournament, and the winner of that bracket will head to the CWS Final. As mentioned above, No.3 Oregon State will be taking on No. 6 North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, followed by Washington vs. Mississippi State Saturday night.
Let’s breakdown the Beavs and the four teams that Oregon State may face in the first round at Omaha:
Oregon State Beavers (No. 3)
49-10-1 (20-9-1 Pac-12)
The number three overall seed dominated their Regional and Super Regional match-ups they hosted in Corvallis, OR and now head to Omaha with a full head of steam. The Beavers are one of the most complete teams in the CWS. They tout a very dangerous offense that can score in every way imaginable, lead by junior standout and All-American Trevor Larnach; they also play some of the smoothest defense we’ve seen in recent memory headlined by number 4 overall pick, Nick Madrigal and have a deep pitching staff, lead by ace and All-American Luke Heimlich and All-American Jake Mulholland. Needless to say, the Beavers can do it all on the diamond.
Player to Watch
C, Adley Rutschman (.386/.485/.595)
There’s a lot of ways to go here but since we had Trevor Larnach as our player to watch last week, we’re going to go with Rutschman. The All-American catcher can do it all at the plate and behind the dish. He ranks first on the team in RBI (70), and is second in many categories including Hits (85), Doubles (19), Home Runs (7), Total Bases (131), and Walks (46). The future first round pick also has the “clutch gene” and will look to continue that on the Beavers’ quest for another national title.
More All-American honors have just arrived. Congrats to Trevor, Luke, Nick, Adley, Jake and Cadyn!— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 13, 2018
Here's a look at where D1Baseball and the NCBWA have our position players.#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/NOKXCHhdja
Get hyped for Omaha with some highlights from the Super Regionals Beaver Nation!
Re-living Saturday night.https://t.co/emObzEFCX4— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 11, 2018
North Carolina Tar Heels (No. 6)
43-18 (22-8 ACC)
North Carolina makes their first appearance in the College World Series since 2013. The Tar Heels have been solid all year and had their hands full in the Super Regionals with the Stetson Hatters, but prevailed, going on to sweep Stetson in two games. The Tar Heels an an excellent team that does a lot well, but their offense is what carries them. The Heels are averaging nearly ten runs a game this postseason and have a lot of dangerous hitters. Their lineup vs. Oregon State’s pitching staff in game one will be one to watch.
Player to Watch
3B, Kyle Datres (.344/.440/.500)
The junior third baseman has been hot this postseason, and he torched the Hatters in the Super Regionals last weekend. Datres leads the Tar Heels in most the major categories, including At-Bats (250), Batting Average (.344), Hits (86), Doubles (15), Total Bases (125), and Stolen Bases (12). North Carolina will need their star third baseman to continue his hot streak if they’re going to beat Oregon State and advance to the CWS Final.
35-24 (20-10 Pac-12)
RT if you can't stop watching this. pic.twitter.com/jewI0BjNha— Washington Baseball (@UW_Baseball) June 11, 2018
Washington punched a ticket to Omaha for the first time in program history by beating a powerful Cal State Fullerton team courtesy of a walk-off in Game 3 of the Fullerton Super Regional. The Huskies had never even been to the Super Regionals let alone won one. The epic Super Regional victory may be just what the doctor ordered for the Huskies as they are riding a lot of momentum into Omaha. The Huskies won 12 of their final 17 games in the regular season and pushed for a Pac-12 Championship in the process, and are currently 10-3 in their last 14 games played. Make no mistake, this Washington team is talented but has plenty of holes going into Omaha and may run out of gas down the stretch as they’ve never played this much Baseball.
Player to Watch
OF, Mason Cerrillo (.335/.389/.400)
The junior outfielder is an excellent player for the Huskies and thrives as a contact hitter in the Washington lineup. Cerrillo leads the Huskies in many categories, including batting average (.335) and hits (72) and is second on the team in OB% (.389), walks (18) and third on the team in doubles (14), total bases (86), and stolen bases (4). It will be interesting if the Huskies will have enough offense to keep up in Omaha with some of the best teams in the country.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
37-27 (15-15 SEC)
CLEAR YOUR JUNE! MISSISSIPPI STATE IS HEADED BACK TO OMAHA!— #OmaDawgs ⚾️ (@HailStateBB) June 11, 2018
For the 10th time in program history, the Diamond Dawgs are going to the College World Series!#OmaDawgs | #HailState🐶 pic.twitter.com/eNcRQtbdeZ
Mississippi State has a long tradition on success in baseball and punched their tenth ticket to Omaha following their epic series against Vanderbilt in the Super Regionals. This is another team riding high after an upset victory in a wild Super Regional series, similar to Washington. Mississippi State and Washington are the only two teams left in the CWS field that had to play every postseason game on the road. Although their regular season record may not be that spectacular, the Bulldogs have been hot in the postseason with several walk-off home runs and clutch hitting. If they can find the same magic in Omaha, they’ll be a tough out.
Player to Watch
OF, Jake Mangum (.353/.432/.485)
As his slash line may suggest, the Junior outfielder can swing the stick. He’s excellent in the field, in addition to his prowess at the plate, and seems to step up in big moments. He leads the Bulldogs in most of the main categories including at-bats (275), batting average (.353), OB% (.432), hits (97), doubles (21), walks (27), hit by pitch (12), runs (61), total bases (133), and stolen bases (14). In 37 at-bats this postseason, Mangum has 13 hits, two home runs, and 9 RBI which is good for a .351 batting average. Clearly, he has been nothing short of excellent this season for the Bulldogs and he will need to continue his excellence in Omaha if they’re going to advance to the CWS Final next week.
Also, Mississippi State Has sick unies:
This side of the bracket is very interesting, with two national seeds in Oregon State and North Carolina, a baseball blue blood in Mississippi State that knows how to win when it matters, and a cinderella story in Washington that is looking to keep up with the rest of the CWS field. Whichever team from this bracket that moves on will most likely have defending champs Florida waiting for them in the CWS Final. Strap in baseball fans… We’re in for a great tourney.
The Beavers get back to the College World Series Final in a competitive bracket. Mississippi State will be there till the end, challenging the Beavers for a spot in the CWS Final. North Carolina won’t be a pushover but have their work cut out for them in game one but will knock the Huskies out in an elimination game to get third. This stage is just too big for Washington but it’s been an incredible year for that program.