With the College World Series set to begin on Saturday, we’re breaking down the teams and story lines up until first pitch.Here are five things you need to know about this year’s field.
1) Coastal Carolina has the most power of any team in Omaha… and it’s not close
Coastal Carolina has socked 94 home runs this season, the most of any team in the 2016 College World Series by a mile. The Chanticleers have four players who have homered 15 times or more in Zach Remillard, Connor Owings, Michael Paez and G.K. Young. Remillard has 19 long balls by himself; the entire Arizona offense has 25.
Texas Tech is the next closest team to Coastal Carolina, and the Chanticleers have 40 more dingers than the Red Raiders. Check out the entire list:
|UC Santa Barbara||32|
Florida’s pitchers are going to have to be awfully careful on Sunday night.
2) Three of the eight teams in the 2016 field were in the 2015 field
Those would be Miami, Florida and TCU. Here’s how they fared:
Miami: The Hurricanes were blown out by in-state rival Florida in the first round of last year’s festivities by a score of 15-3. They topped Arkansas in a 4-3 squeaker in their next game, but were once again beaten by Florida in the second round, 10-2.
Overall, the Gators outscored the Hurricanes by a count of 25-5 in the 2015 College World Series. Perhaps it’s a good sign that Miami and Florida are in opposite brackets this season.
Florida: After the Gators’ thrashing of the Hurricanes in their first two games, Florida ended up losing two of its next three bouts to the eventual champion, Virginia. In fact, the Gators outscored the Cavaliers in the series by a final count of 14-11, but the Hoos emerged victorious in two one-run affairs.
TCU: The Horned Frogs throttled LSU in their opening game by seven runs and would defeat the Tigers again in an elimination game, but TCU could not solve Vanderbilt. The Frogs crossed the plate just once in two games against the Dores, as Philip Pfeifer and Walker Buehler were virtually unhittable.
3) Texas Tech won two out of three games this season against TCU
Texas Tech won two games in Fort Worth by scores of 7-3 and 3-1 respectively, but in TCU’s lone win, the Horned Frogs downed the Red Raiders by a score of 13-6.
Freshman righty Davis Martin tossed 6.1 innings of one-run ball against TCU back in April, inducing several ground ball outs against the Horned Frogs. He seems to be a likely candidate to face them in the College World Series.
4) The last of these teams to win a College World Series was Arizona in 2012. Before that, it was…
Miami, in 2001. None of the last three champions (Virginia, Vanderbilt or UCLA) find themselves in Omaha this year, and Arizona isn’t considered one of the favorites to take home the crown this season.
In 2001, the Hurricanes weren’t just a juggernaut on the football field. They were baseball’s national champions, and in Omaha, they topped 12 runs in three of their four contests. That included a 21-13 victory against Tennessee. The 2001 Canes had one of the most dominant offensive postseason runs in college baseball history.
5) There were several memorable walk-off homers in Regional and Super Regional play this year. Those don’t happen so often in Omaha.
Sam Cohen punched UC Santa Barbara’s ticket to Omaha with a walk-off grand slam in Super Regionals, and we all remember what was perhaps the most famous blast in College World Series history in 1996:
20 years ago today...— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) June 8, 2016
TIGERS WIN! TIGERS WIN!
It's a two run home run! pic.twitter.com/gS2heunUrY
However, walk-off jacks aren’t terribly common in the College World Series. Vanderbilt’s Jeren Kendall hit one to knock off Cal State Fullerton last year, but prior to that, the last Omaha walk-off homer transpired in 2009.
Check out the full list of College World Series walk-off home runs here.