1 Oregon State Beavers

Corvallis, Oregon

Won Corvallis Super Regional (2-0), won Corvallis Regional (3-0), automatic bid from Pac-12

2017 record: 27-3, 54-4 (first in Pac-12)

Head coach: Pat Casey (George Fox, 1990)

Record at school: 843-444-5 (23 years)

Overall record: 1,014-559-6 (30 years)

Assistant coaches: Pat Bailey, Nate Yeskie, Andy Jenkins

Team offense: .296 BA, 352 R, 29 HR, .412 SLG%, .388 OBP%, 61-79 SB

Team pitching: 1.80 ERA, 529 IP, 371 H, 147 BB, 485 K

Top hitters: Nick Madrigal (.383/4/36/16-20 SB), Steven Kwan (.345/1/17), KJ Harrison (.330/8/39), Trevor Larnach (.304/3/42/16 2B), Michael Gretler (.300/4/32), Jack Anderson (.288/1/29), Cadyn Grenier (.280/5/34)

Top pitchers: Max Engelbrekt (3-0, 0.48, 5 SV, 18.2 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 18 K), Luke Heimlich (11-1, 0.76, 118.1 IP, 70 H, 22 BB, 128 K), Drew Rasmussen (3-0, 0.83, 21.2 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 22 K), Jake Thompson (14-0, 1.31, 118.1 IP, 76 H, 36 BB, 113 K), Jake Mulholland (6-1, 1.31, 6 SV, 48 IP, 34 H, 11 BB, 41 K), Bryce Fehmel (5-2, 3.80, 71 IP, 63 H, 17 BB, 45 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2015 (1-2 at Dallas Regional)

Notes: OSU is making its sixth trip to the College World Series and first since 2013. The Beavers won consecutive national titles in 2006 and 2007. OSU is 13-8 all-time in the College World Series and 13-6 under head coach Pat Casey. The Beavers posted more than 40 wins for the eighth time in the past 13 seasons and are the No. 1 national seed. OSU has posted 54 wins, a program record. The Beavers won 52 in 2013 for the previous record. OSU is 31-1 at home this season and is on a 21-game win streak. Pitching is at a premium with the Beavers, as Luke Heimlich ranks first and Jake Thompson fifth in the NCAA in ERA. As a team, OSU is first at 1.80, well ahead of UIC (2.65), Louisville (2.85) and North Carolina (2.96). Already loaded, the Beavers saw the return of ace Drew Rasmussen in late April – he had been out a year with an elbow injury. Sophomore shortstop Nick Madrigal’s twin brother Ty pitches at St. Mary’s. The Beavers’ shortstop tore his labrum late last season and has returned as one of the best shortstops in the nation.

Cal State Fullerton Titans

Fullerton, California

Won Long Beach Super Regional (2-1), won Stanford Regional (3-0), at-large bid from Big West

2017 record: 15-9, 39-22 (second in Big West)

Head coach: Rick Vanderhook (Trinity University, 2003)

Record at school: 235-125 (6 years)

Overall record: Same

Assistant coaches: Chad Baum, Blake Hawksworth, J.J. Altobelli

Team offense: .270 BA, 334 R, 44 HR, .403 SLG%, .359 OBP%, 53-68 SB

Team pitching: 3.57 ERA, 544.1 IP, 523 H, 146 BB, 458 K

Top hitters:  Scott Hurst (.332/12/39/15 2B), Sahid Valenzuela (.324/1/24), Timmy Richards (.301/4/26), Dillon Persinger (.296/3/30/18-23 SB), Hunter Cullen (.271/6/30/11-11 SB), Taylor Bryant (.266/3/36), Hank LoForte (.253/0/19)

Top pitchers: Colton Eastman (2-0, 1.09, 1 SV, 33 IP, 14 H, 12 BB, 37 K), Brett Conine (0-1, 15 SV, 1.49, 42.1 IP, 34 H, 6 BB, 40 K), John Gavin (8-2, 2.67, 101 IP, 86 H, 30 BB, 89 K), Blake Workman (6-2, 2.70, 1 SV, 60 IP, 59 H, 15 BB, 52 K), Connor Seabold (11-5, 3.01, 122.2 IP, 118 H, 22 BB, 120 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (1-2 Starkville Regional)

Notes: The Titans are making their 18th trip to the College World Series and have won four national titles (1979, 1984, 1995, 2004). Only four other schools have won more national championships than Fullerton (USC 12, LSU 6, Texas 6, Arizona State 5). The Titans are 34-29 all-time in CWS contests, but have lost seven straight. Fullerton is in its 26th straight NCAA Tournament (second only to Florida State’s streak of 40) and have made the field in each of Rick Vanderhook’s six seasons. The Titans are 4-1 all-time against Oregon State. Connor Seabold and Blake Workman stepped up in the absence of ace Colton Eastman, who missed most of the year with an arm injury and returned two weeks ago. The Titans’ staff is stingy – they walk only 2.4 batters per game. Scott Hurst put it all together this season after hitting .215 a year ago. 32 of 33 on Titans roster are from state of California. Only exception is freshman Sahid Valenzuela, from Yuma, Arizona.

4 LSU Tigers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Won Baton Rouge Super Regional (2-0), won Baton Rouge Regional (3-0), automatic bid – won SEC Tournament

2017 record: 21-9, 48-17 (first in SEC West)

Head coach: Paul Mainieri (FIU, 1980)

Record at school: 508-199-3 (11 years)

Overall record: 1,372-691-8 (35 years)

Assistant coaches: Alan Dunn, Nolan Cain, Micah Gibbs

Team offense: .294 BA, 466 R, 61 HR, .440 SLG%, .391 OBP%, 72-98 SB

Team pitching: 3.54 ERA, 577.2 IP, 492 H, 238 BB, 570 K

Top hitters: Cole Freeman (.327/2/41/18-24 SB), Antoine Duplantis (.322/1/57/18-22 SB), Greg Deichmann (.320/19/72), Kramer Robertson (.319/8/43), Zach Watson (.313/8/35), Josh Smith (.289/4/43), Beau Jordan (.277/3/25), Michael Papierski (.260/8/34)

Top pitchers: Hunter Newman (1-1, 1.11, 10 SV, 24.1 IP, 16 H, 14 BB, 25 K), Alex Lange (9-5, 2.87, 103.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 124 K), Jared Poche’ (10-3, 3.13, 95 IP, 61 H, 32 BB, 63 K), Eric Walker (8-1, 3.46, 93.2 IP, 81 H, 23 BB, 78 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-1 at Baton Rouge Regional, 0-2 at Baton Rouge Super Regional)

Notes: LSU is making its 18th appearance in the College World Series. The Tigers have won six national titles (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2009). Only USC has won more national championships with 12. The Tigers are 36-24 all-time in the College World Series. LSU is the No. 4 national seed and has been a national seed for the past six years. Coming into the CWS, the Tigers have won 16 straight games and 21 of their past 23 contests. LSU went 3-0 in the Baton Rouge Regional and outscored its opponents 31-13. Josh Smith went 5 for 9 with three doubles, one homer and four RBI. The Tigers went 2-0 against Mississippi State in the Super Regional, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-7. Florida State is 9-7 all-time against LSU, but the Tigers are 2-1 vs. the Seminoles in the CWS. Greg Deichmann, a second-round pick by the Athletics, was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He was All-SEC First team. Alex Lange, a first-round draft pick of the Cubs, is 4-0 in his past five starts with an ERA of 2.21. He has 390 career strikeouts, second to the 409 by Scott Schultz (1992-95). Jared Poche’ has a career record of 37-12. He is one win away from the program record of 38 career victories by Scott Schultz (1992-95).

Florida State Seminoles

Tallahassee, Florida

Won Tallahassee Super Regional (2-0), won Tallahassee Regional (4-1), automatic bid- won ACC championship

2017 record: 14-14 ACC, 45-21

Head coach: Mike Martin (Florida State, 1966)

Record at school: 1,943-692-4 (38 years)

Overall record: same

Assistant coaches: Mike Bell, Mike Martin Jr., Clyde Keller

Team offense: .272 BA, 488 R, 72 HR, .430 SLG%, .393 OBP%, 58-73 SB

Team pitching: 3.72 ERA, 593.1 IP, 542 H, 203 BB, 618 K

Top hitters: Jackson Lueck (.327/9/54), Rhett Aplin (.322/6/24), Dylan Busby (.315/14/62/20 2B), Quincy Nieporte (.305/10/78/20 2B), Taylor Walls (.276/8/47/10-12 SB), Matt Henderson (.265/0/21)

Top pitchers: Drew Carlton (5-4, 1.98 ERA, 6 SV, 59 IP, 62 H, 13 BB, 55 K), Tyler Holton (10-2, 2.25 ERA, 112 IP, 69 H, 29 BB, 139 K), Drew Parrish (6-3, 4.40 ERA, 86 IP, 76 H, 26 BB, 89 K), Cole Sands (6-3, 5.05 ERA, 82 IP, 83 H, 29 BB, 72 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-0 in Tallahassee Regional, 1-2 in Gainesville Super Regional)

Notes: The Seminoles are making their 22nd trip to the College World Series and first since 2012. FSU is looking for its first national championship after three runner-up finishes. The Seminoles lost their first game of the Tallahassee Regional to Tennessee Tech, then won four straight to win the regional title. FSU went 2-0 in the Tallahassee Super Regional, outscoring Sam Houston State 26-6. The city of Louisville was kind to the Noles as they won four straight to win the ACC Tournament title after winning two at U of L, the first time the Cardinals have dropped an ACC series at home. After being ranked as high as #1 in country, the Seminoles fell out of the polls after losing a series at NC State dropping to 21-13 overall. This is FSU’s 40th consecutive NCAA appearance, the longest current streak in Division I. WarrenNolan.com has FSU’s schedule as the toughest in the country. The depth of starting pitching has not been a strong suit for FSU this year but they do have one of the best in lefty sophomore Tyler Holton who was named ACC Pitcher of the Week five times this year. Holton, an all-ACC first team selection, led the ACC in wins and innings pitched and was second in strikeouts. The bullpen has picked up the slack posting a 3.50 ERA. The 12 runs they scored against Louisville in the opener are the most the Cards have given up all year. A second-team all-ACC selection, Nieporte’s 78 RBI are the most for FSU since 2010. Busby is the ACC’s active leader in home runs.

7 Louisville Cardinals

Louisville, Kentucky

Won Louisville Super Regional (2-0), won Louisville Regional (3-0), at-large bid from ACC

2017 record: 23-6 (ACC), 52-10

Head coach: Dan McDonnell (The Citadel, 1992)

Record at school: 508-201 (11 years)

Overall record: 508-201 (11 years)

Assistant coaches: Roger Williams, Eric Snider, Adam Vrable, Brian Mundorf

Team offense: .289 BA, 452 R, 70 HR, .464 SLG%, .387 OBP%, 97-120 SB

Team pitching: 2.85 ERA, 559 IP, 449 H, 197 BB, 584 K

Top hitters: Drew Ellis (.367/20/61/18 2B), Brendan McKay (.343/17/56), Josh Stowers (.311/6/33/22-28 SB), Devin Hairston (.306/3/51), Colin Lyman (.287/1/30/14-20 SB), Logan Taylor (.279/0/40/22-25 SB), Devin Mann (.270/8/43), Colby Fitch (.256/11/43)

Top pitchers: Lincoln Henzman (3-0, 1.77 ERA, 16 SV, 35.2 IP, 20 H, 9 BB, 36 K), Brendan McKay (10-3, 2.34 ERA, 104 IP, 69 H, 33 BB, 140 K), Adam Wolf (6-0, 2.37 ERA, 38 IP, 28 H, 13 BB, 33 K), Nick Bennett (5-0, 2.70 ERA, 63.1 IP, 56 H, 13 BB, 59 K), Kade McClure (8-3, 3.43 ERA, 97 IP, 78 H, 35 BB, 102 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-0 at Louisville Regional; 0-2 at Louisville Super Regional)

Notes: The Cardinals are making their fourth appearance in the College World Series and third in the past five years. UL is undefeated in the NCAA Tournament this season, going 3-0 in regional play and 2-0 in super regional, all at home. UL is 34-4 at home overall this season. Louisville has made the NCAA Regionals 10 times in McDonnell’s 11 years at the helm. Despite playing the ACC Tournament in their hometown, the Cardinals did not advance out of pool play, defeating Notre Dame before losing to Florida State. U of L’s 46 regular-season wins matched a school record from 2010, 2013 and 2016. The win total includes a 19-game win streak to start the season and a 15-game streak from April 22 to May 16 with wins in 12 of their 13 weekend series (dropping two games to Florida State in regular season finale). The Cardinals again boast one of the best pitching staffs in the country. Their unit ranks third nationally in ERA (2.85), fourth in hits allowed per nine innings (7.22), fourth in WHIP (1.16) & 11th in K/9 (9.35). Two-way standout Brendan McKay was named ACC Player of the Year and National Player of the Year by Baseball America. He was the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft, taken by the Tampa Bay Rays. Closer Lincoln Henzman also was named first-team All-ACC and leads the country with 16 saves. Shortstop Devin Hairston was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year after committing only three errors all season with a .987 fielding percentage while also one of the team’s leaders in batting average and RBI. First baseman/third baseman Drew Ellis was also named first-team All-ACC. Dan McDonnell was honored as the ACC’s Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season. U of L has won 40-plus games in 10 of his 11 seasons and has won six straight divisional championships (2015-17 ACC Atlantic, 2014 AAC, 2012-13 Big East).

Texas A&M Aggies

College Station, Texas

Won College Station Super Regional (2-0), won Houston Regional (3-0), at-large bid from SEC

2017 record: 16-14, 41-21 (tied for third in SEC West)

Head coach: Rob Childress (Northwood, 1990)

Record at school: 499-259-2 (12 years)

Overall record: 542-269-2 (13 years)

Assistant coaches: Justin Seely, Will Bolt, Jake Carlson

Team offense: .275 BA, 384 R, 52 HR, .415 SLG%, .360 OBP%, 56-86 SB

Team pitching: 3.42 ERA, 571 IP, 506 H, 206 BB, 559 K

Top hitters: Braden Shewmake (.335/11/68/17 2B/11-16 SB), Nick Choruby (.325/3/33/11-18 SB), Cole Bedford (.302/3/26), Blake Kopetsky (.298/2/19), Hunter Coleman (.292/5/22), Logan Foster (.283/6/24), George Janca (.259/6/29), Joel Davis (.253/6/30)

Top pitchers: Landon Miner (1-0, 2.55, 1 SV, 24.2 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 16 K), Kaylor Chafin (7-2, 2.56, 3 SV, 70.1 IP, 53 H, 16 BB, 64 K), Brigham Hill (8-3, 3.18, 96.1 IP, 85 H, 29 BB, 107 K), Corbin Martin (7-3 3.35, 86 IP, 84 H, 37 BB, 94 K), Mitchell Kilkenny (3-3, 3.56, 7 SV, 55.2 IP, 64 H, 18 BB, 56 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-0 at College Station Regional, 1-2 in College Station Super Regional)

Notes: Texas A&M is making its sixth trip to the College World Series and first since 2011. The Aggies are 2-10 all-time in CWS contests. The Aggies are in the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd time, including a program-record 11 straight seasons. Texas A&M made its third consecutive Super Regional appearance, also a program best. Braden Shewmake was the SEC Freshman of the Year as well as one of four National Freshmen of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. He leads all Division I freshmen with 89 hits and 68 RBI. Shewmake and Brigham Hill were NCBWA All-Americans. Corbin Martin was picked by Houston in the second round of the MLB Draft. Hill was a fifth-round selection of the Washington Nationals.

3 Florida Gators

Gainesville, Florida

Won Gainesville Super Regional (2-1), won Gainesville Regional (3-1), at-large bid from SEC

2017 record: 21-9, 47-19 (first in SEC East)

Head coach: Kevin O’Sullivan (Virginia, 1991)

Record at school: 443-207 (10 years)

Overall record: same

Assistant coaches: Craig Bell, Brad Weitzel, Lars Davis

Team offense: .262 BA, 357 R, 50 HR, .383 SLG%, .360 OBP%, 80-107 SB

Team pitching: 3.55 ERA, 590.1 IP, 578 H, 202 BB, 581 K

Top hitters: Ryan Larson (.304/5/24), Nelson Maldonado (.304/6/31), Christian Hicks (.286/4/25), Jonathan India (.280/6/32/11-11 SB), Dalton Guthrie (.272/4/22/10-17 SB), JJ Schwarz (.271/12/53), Deacon Liput (.225/2/30/12-18 SB)

Top pitchers: Michael Byrne (4-5, 1.83, 16 SV, 68.2 IP, 55 H, 15 BB, 84 K), Alex Faedo (7-2, 2.55, 1 SV, 109.1 IP, 90 H, 36 BB, 135 K), Brady Singer (7-5, 3.29, 112 IP, 106 H, 29 BB, 108 K), Jackson Kowar (12-0, 4.00, 101.1 IP, 109 H, 42 BB, 73 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-0 at Gainesville Regional, 2-1 at Gainesville Super Regional, 0-2 at College World Series)

Notes: Florida has reached the College World Series for the 11th time and for the third straight year and sixth time in the past eight years. The Gators are looking for their first national title after a pair of second-place finishes. Senior outfielder Ryan Larson was unavailable for the Gainesville Regional after suffering a head injury after being hit by a pitch during the SEC Tournament. He did play in the super regional. The Gators were blanked 16-0 by Arkansas in the semifinals of the SEC tourney, their worst loss of the season. UF is in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season, a program record. Pitcher Alex Faedo is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. Michael Byrne has set a program record with 16 saves.

6 TCU Horned Frogs

Fort Worth, Texas

Won Fort Worth Super Regional (2-0), won Fort Worth Regional (3-0), at-large bid from the Big 12

2017 record: 16-8, 47-16 (second in Big 12)

Head coach: Jim Schlossnagle (Elon, 1992)

Record at school: 612-270 (14 years)

Overall record: 689-317 (16 years)

Assistant coaches: Bill Mosiello, Kirk Sarloos, Zach Etheredge

Team offense: .272 BA, 434 R, 57 HR, .411 SLG%, .379 OBP%, 102-123 SB

Team pitching: 4.02 ERA, 566.1 IP, 504 H, 196 BB, 593 K

Top hitters: Austen Wade (.342/5/37/15-21 SB), Luken Baker (.317/8/41), Nolan Brown (.293/3/35/26-28 SB), Cam Warner (.292/5/49/10-13 SB), Evan Skoug (.277/20/67), Ryan Merrill (.243/5/40/17-19 SB), Elliott Barzilli (.243/6/30), Josh Watson (.239/1/36)

Top pitchers: Jared Janczak (9-0, 1.97, 82.1 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 91 K), Sean Wymer (5-4, 2.37, 1 SV, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 10 BB, 59 K), Durbin Feltman (2-2, 17 SV, 3.90, 27.2 IP, 23 H, 15 BB, 32 K), Brian Howard (11-3, 3.95, 98 IP, 81 H, 35 BB, 101 K), Nick Lodolo (5-1, 4.28, 73.2 IP, 70 H, 27 BB, 69 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2016 (3-0 at Fort Worth Regional, 2-1 at College Station Super Regional, 2-2 at College World Series)

Notes: TCU is making its fifth trip to the College World Series and is 8-8 in its previous four appearances. The Horned Frogs are the only team to have been to the College World Series each of the past four years. TCU is 51-34 all-time in NCAA tournney games. The Frogs are in the field for the 13th time in 14 years. A bevy of injuries has slowed TCU only a bit, and pitchers Jared Janczak and Mitchell Traver, who threw a gem against Texas in the Big 12 tourney, appear to be ready to roll for the postseason. First baseman Luken Baker will miss the postseason after having surgery on his injured left arm. Evan Skoug hit 16 homers his first two seasons and has 20 this season. Skoug had one home run in each of the two Super Regional games against Missouri State, including the game-winner in Game 1.

 

About The Author Phil Stanton

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