College World Series: Toppling Oregon State a tall order for the rest of the field in Omaha
Eight teams are headed for Omaha, and seven of them face the same sobering question: Can anyone stop Oregon State?
Oh, sure, they all have their good reasons for hope in the College World Series:
Louisville is 52-10 and just led 17 of 18 innings against Kentucky in the super regional, but...
Oregon State’s 54-4 record is the highest winning percentage carried to Omaha in 35 years. And the Beavers haven’t trailed at the end of an inning in seven games.
Cal State Fullerton’s pitchers have allowed just nine runs in six NCAA tournament games, and one run in the past 25 innings, but...
Oregon State’s pitching staff has a 1.80 earned run average — three-fourths of a run lower than any other team in the nation — and is allowing a .197 batting average.
LSU has won 16 games in a row and 21 of its last 23, heading to the CWS on a roll. The combined score in the 16-game winning streak is a dominant 136-45, but...
Oregon State has won 21 in a row by a combined score of 158-41.
Florida State’s starting pitchers have allowed nine earned runs in 48 NCAA tournament innings, good for a nifty 1.89 ERA, but...
Oregon State’s rotation is so deep, the Beavers could start a guy in Bryce Fehmel who had pitched just one inning since May 6 and watch him throw a five-hit complete game to finish off Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M showed considerable resilience, rallying from down 6-2 in the second game to beat plucky Davidson in the Super Regional, but...
Oregon State hasn’t had to rally much. The Beavers have scored first in 43 games and are 42-1 in those contests.
TCU’s pitchers have struck out 593 batters, with 10-plus Ks in 27 games, but...
Oregon State’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is the second best in the nation, and it's 52-11 in the NCAA tournament.
Florida has shown a flair for the dramatic, winning 18 one-run games, the most in the nation, and having three NCAA tournament games go into extra innings, but...
Oregon State hasn’t dealt with many tight squeezes lately, winning its NCAA tournament games by an average of seven runs. But during the season, the Beavers went 13-1 in one-run decisions.
So this College World Series has a favorite all right. A whopper. It has a few other things, too:
The only two Division I players to hit four home runs in a game this year — Louisville’s Brendan McKay and Cal State Fullerton’s Scott Hurst.
The nation’s leader in saves: TCU’s Durbin Feltman with 17.
A head coach — Florida State’s Mike Martin — in his 38th year on the job.
Cal State Fullerton, the only team to win a super regional on the road.
Louisville, the team that has gone 5-0 in the NCAA tournament despite its biggest star — McKay — in a 3-for-20 funk at the plate.
LSU, the team in the field with the most national championships — six.
Florida State, making its 22nd CWS appearance. That puts the Seminoles tied with Arizona for third for most trips to Omaha. But they’re in a league by themselves in having the most College World Series berths without winning it. Clemson is way back at 12.
Texas A&M, the team that left 17 runners on base in its super regional opener but still managed to win in 15 innings against Davidson.
Florida State, the narrow survivor that was one strike away from elimination in the regional against Auburn. The Seminoles ended up getting by 8-7 in 10 innings and have never looked back, winning the past three games 32-6.
The highest draft choice last summer not to sign — TCU pitcher Nick Lodolo, who was the 41st overall pick by Pittsburgh.
The relief pitcher taken by Milwaukee with the 836th pick in the 2014 draft, Texas A&M’s Turner Larkins. What’s noteworthy is who went next at 837th to San Diego: Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
The leadoff hitter whose mother coached a women’s national basketball champion — LSU’s Kramer Robertson is the son of Baylor’s Kim Mulkey.
The Florida pitchers who struck out 48 Wake Forest batters in three super-regional games, including 23 in the 11-inning opener.
The four-time national champions who have won a title once in each of the past four decades — Cal State Fullerton. Nothing this decade yet, so maybe the Titans are due. But...