CWS What to Watch: June 15
|Did You Know: Prior to 2014, the Red Raiders have never shut out an opponent in the NCAA tourney. They shut out Pepperdine twice last weekend to earn their first trip to Omaha.||Did You Know: TCU started the season 15-12 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12, and has won 32 of 36 since. In that stretch, Horned Frog pitchers have nine shutouts.|
|On the Bump: Chris Sadberry won Game 1 of the Super Regional with eight strikeouts in eight innings, both season highs. He has a 3.17 ERA in 16 starts this season.||On the Bump: Preston Morrison ranks ninth nationally with a 1.32 ERA. In 17 starts this season, he has 85 strikeouts with 19 walks and a .197 batting-average against.|
|In the Box: Among categories that Eric Gutierrez leads the way for Texas Tech are batting average (.312), at-bats (237), hits (74), home runs (12) and RBI (58).||In the Box: The Horned Frogs' power leader is Kevin Cron. He has 18 doubles and five home runs, three more than any teammate. He is tied for the team slugging lead at .438.|
|Pepper: Texas Tech and TCU split four games in the regular season. Texas Tech took two of three in a March series (10-2, 12-2), while TCU won one in March (9-0) and a single game in April (4-0). This is their first meeting in the NCAA tournament.
• TCU is in the CWS for the second time thanks to a two-run rally in the ninth to beat Pepperdine 6-5 on Monday.
• The Red Raiders' pitching staff has not allowed a run in 27 consecutive innings. It has a collective ERA of 0.65 in six NCAA tournament games, and its season ERA of 3.13 is its lowest since 1971.
• The Horned Frogs lead the nation with a 2.19 ERA. The bullpen has allowed two runs in 28.1 innings in the NCAA tournament.
• Texas Tech outfielder Stephen Smith may be a freshman, but he has played on a big stage before. He was on the Lubbock Western Little League team that finished runner-up in the 2007 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
|Did You Know: It has been a long time coming for Mississippi -- this is its first trip to Omaha since 1972. The Rebels won Games 2 and 3 against Louisiana-Lafayette to get there.||Did You Know: Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor earned his 500th career win against Georgia Tech on May 9. He is the second-fastest ACC coach to reach that mark.|
|On the Bump: Chris Ellis is 10-2 with a 2.45 ERA this season. A junior, he was the first of a nation-leading nine Mississippi players drafted when he went in the third round to the Angels.||On the Bump: Despite uncharacteristic struggles in the Super Regional, Nathan Kirby stands with a 1.73 ERA in 16 starts. He has 104 strikeouts and has given up just one home run.|
|In the Box: Auston Bousfield has two 20-plus consecutive games reached base streaks this season. He leads the Rebels with a .349 batting average, and is four hits away from 100.||In the Box: UVa.'s lineup runs deep, but it is Mike Papi that leads the way with a .311 BA, 11 HR, 54 RBI and 55 walks. Also leading among regulars are his .505 SLG and .453 OBP.|
|Pepper: Virginia and Mississippi met most recently in the Charlottesville Regional in 2010, when the Hoos beat the Rebels 13-7. The previous year, Virginia took two of three to win the Oxford Super Regional.
• The Rebels are used to close games. They have played 20 one-run games this season, going 12-8 in them.
• Nick Howard, Virginia's closer, has 19 saves in 21 attempts. He has a 2.05 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.
• Virginia is the highest-seeded team remaining, with the No. 3 national seed. TCU is the only other national seed in Omaha. The Cavaliers are in their third College World Series in the past six years and first since 2011.
• In the past 11 games, Mississippi freshman Colby Bortles is 8-for-19, with two home runs and 12 RBI.