Here is the path each of the Omaha 8 took to reach the 2022 Men's College World Series.
How the season went: Arkansas, after failing to make the MCWS in 2021, set the tone for its quest to Omaha in 2022 by winning 12 straight games in March and going 18-12 in SEC play throughout the season. Important SEC series wins included then-No. 19 Auburn, Ole Miss and then-No. 15 LSU.
The Razorbacks lost two games in the SEC tournament but then won three of four to come out of the Stillwater Regional. They followed that up with a sweep of then-No. 11 North Carolina to arrive in Omaha.
Who stood out: Arkansas boasts a terrific bullpen, which helped get the Razorbacks a top-20 ERA in the country. That's in large part due to arms like Zack Morris, Gabriel Starks, Zebulon Vermillion and Evan Taylor. All four are vital to getting Arkansas to this point. So too is starter Connor Noland who carries a 7-5 record with a 3.86 ERA. He was outstanding in Game 1 against North Carolina — 6.2 innings, six hits, six strikeouts, no runs. Hard to lose with that on the bump.
Arkansas' 100 round-trippers rank it 17th in the country. That has a lot to do with Cayden Wallace, Braydon Webb and Brady Slavens — all three have 15 home runs each. Wallace and Slavens both have over 50 RBI each, too.
Slavens has been on a tear of late. The senior has eight RBI in his last five games and is 8-for-24 in that span.
How the season went: Auburn was picked to finish seventh in its conference by other SEC coaches after going 25-27 last season. Given that they're in Omaha, it's safe to say they proved those coaches wrong.
Auburn opened the year taking two of three at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown. The Tigers followed that up by winning 11 of 14 and then going 16-13 in SEC play. Despite losing early in the SEC tournament, Auburn brought its best in regionals, winning all three of its games against Southeastern Louisiana, Florida State and UCLA. Then came super regionals and they took two of three from Oregon State.
Who stood out: Sonny DiChiara gets on base. His on-base percentage of .560 — yes, .560 — is No. 1 in the country. He gets walked the most and he's a terrific hitter, boasting a .392 batting average, which is good for best on the squad. His 22 home runs and 59 RBI are far and away the best on his team as well.
Auburn has a solid array of talent on the mound. Joseph Gonzalez and Mason Barnett have been reliable starters. John Armstrong, Chase Allsup and Blake Burkhalter have been terrific out of the bullpen, helping the staff ERA sit at 4.42.
Notre Dame (40-15)
How the season went: Last year, the Fighting Irish lost to Mississippi State (the eventual national champion) in a super regional. This year, Notre Dame scored a date with No. 1 Tennessee in its super regional and took down the Volunteers, stunning them in Games 1 and 3 to advance to Omaha.
They lost in the semifinals of the ACC championship to North Carolina, but rebounded in the Statesboro Regional by beating then-No. 24 Texas Tech twice and then-No. 21 Georgia Southern. Those wins set the stage for the series win over Tennessee.
Who stood out: Notre Dame boasts the 12th best earned run average in the country at 3.97. John Michael Bertrand leads starters with a 2.69 ERA. Austin Temple has also been terrific as a starter — over 14 starts, the graduate student carries a 3.57 ERA. Whether starting a game or coming in to protect a lead, the versatile Jack Findlay has a 1.99 ERA in 45.1 innings of work.
Outfielder Jack Zyska leads the team in dingers with 13. Infielder Jack Brannigan is right behind him with 12 and a team-leading 46 RBI. Outfielder Brooks Coetzee also put up quality power numbers this season with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. Catcher David LaManna leads the squad in batting average at .348 and hit a massive round-tripper in the clinching win over the Vols.
How the season went: The Sooners got off to a great start this season, taking two of three over Auburn and Michigan in the 2022 State Farm College Baseball Showdown. But, they struggled a couple of weeks later when they lost to LSU, UCLA and Tennessee in the 2022 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. Oklahoma followed that up by winning nine of its next 11 games.
In total, the Sooners won six of eight of their Big 12 series throughout the season. That success translated to a Big 12 postseason championship, as the Sooners took down West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State and then Texas to win a title.
Oklahoma won the Gainesville Regional with a win over Liberty and then advanced to the Blacksburg Super Regional after taking two of three from Florida. In Blacksburg, the Sooners edged out Virginia Tech, taking two of three from the Hokies.
Who stood out: It's hard to talk about Oklahoma without mentioning redshirt sophomore Peyton Graham. He leads the team in home runs (20), RBI (70, OPS (1.076) and stolen bases (32-of-34). He's a a big reason why Oklahoma is a top-20 team in the nation in runs at 491.
Another is Tanner Tredaway, who leads the team in batting average (.373) and ranks second in RBI (61). The Sooners also have a great supporting cast led by Blake Robertson and Jimmy Crooks — both are batting north of .300 and have over 45 RBI apiece.
Jake Bennett put together a solid 2022. In 17 starts, the redshirt sophomore posted a 9-3 record and an ERA of 3.53. His last start, which came against Virginia Tech, was terrific, as the lefty went seven innings and only allowed one earned run.
Ole Miss (37-22)
How the season went: Ole Miss opened 2022 on a nine-game win streak. Despite a rough time through the gauntlet of SEC play (the Rebels went 14-16 and lost in the SEC tournament opener to Vanderbilt), Ole Miss did enough to land a spot in baseball's big dance.
And the Rebels have been on a tear ever since.
In the Coral Gables Super Regional, the Rebels took down Arizona, then-No. 6 Miami and Arizona again. That second win over Arizona was 22-6, a sign of things to come offensively. In the Hattiesburg Super Regionals, the Rebels took care of business against Southern Miss, taking them down 10-0 and 5-0.
Who stood out: Tim Elko leads the team in home runs (22), RBI (71) and OPS (1.068). Surrounding Elko in the lineup are a bunch of other quality bats such as Justin Bench (team-leading .311 batting average), Jacob Gonzalez (17 home runs), Peyton Chatagnier and Kemp Alderman.
Ole Miss has a staff ERA of 4.44. Freshman hurler Hunter Elliot's been terrific, especially of late. His last start saw him go 7.1 innings, giving up no runs on three hits against Southern Miss. His ERA on the season sits at 2.82. Keep an eye on Josh Mallitz and Mason Nichols coming out of the bullpen.
How the season went: Coming off a 2021 campaign that saw the Cardinal make it to Omaha, Stanford opened 2022 with three big wins at the Karbach Round Rock Classic — one of which came against then-No. 2 Arkansas. The Cardinal followed that up by losing seven of their next 10, which turned out to be their biggest lull of the season.
But, Stanford came back hard. It won 10 of their next 12 including a sweep of Pac-12 rivals Washington State and Arizona State. After dropping two of three against Washington April 29-May 1, the Cardinal didn't lose again in the regular season, as they won 12 straight games.
Stanford extended that win streak to 16 games after rolling through the Pac-12 tournament and taking down then-No. 4 Oregon State to win the postseason title. The momentum continued into regionals and then into super regionals, as Stanford cruised through both. Even after losing a 13-12 heartbreaker in Game 1 of super regionals against UConn, Stanford went onto win the series and advance to Omaha.
Who stood out: The Cardinal sport a top-20 team ERA in all of DI college baseball (4.00). That's in large part due to Alex Williams, Quinn Mathews and Ryan Bruno. Williams' 2.88 ERA puts him top-30 in the nation. While his last start was rough (that pesky Game 1 against UConn), his 8-3 record over 17 starts tells a different story.
Stanford's best all-around bat is Carter Graham who is tied for ninth in the nation in RBI with 78. He also leads his team in home runs with 22. His .333 batting average isn't too bad either. Batting right ahead of Graham in the lineup is outfielder Brock Jones who has 20 home runs, 56 RBI and a team-high .455 on base percentage.
How the season went: The Longhorns also came out of the gate hot, firing off 11 straight wins with two coming over ranked opponents (then-No. 17 Tennessee and then-No. 7 LSU) in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. Texas suffered its worst stretch of the season April 29-May 1 when it was swept at home by then-No.8 Oklahoma State.
DEEP, FAR AND VERY GONE: DI college baseball's single-season home run leaders
The silver lining of that sweep is what came after.
The Longhorns won eight of their next nine games to end the regular season. They got all the way to the Big 12 championship game, but lost to Oklahoma, 8-1. That must've provided quite the dose of motivation, as Texas won all three of its games in the Austin Regional and then edged out East Carolina in the super regionals. Even when the Pirates had the Longhorns on the ropes with a 7-2 lead in the seventh inning and a 1-0 series lead, Texas battled back to win, 9-8, in one of the games of the tournament and proceeded to crush East Carolina, 11-1, in the win-or-go-home Game 3.
Who stood out: Even if you barely followed the 2022 college baseball season, you likely know who Ivan Melendez is. Melendez hit 32 home runs and knocked in 94 RBI this season — both first in the nation. His .396 batting average ranks him top 20.
Still, he wasn't the only potent bat in the Texas lineup. Murphy Stehly has 19 home runs, 61 RBI and a .375 batting average. Trey Faltine hit 15 round-trippers, Douglas Hodo is batting .319 and Skyler Messinger batted in 59 runs of his own — three of those tied East Carolina in that wild comeback in Game 2. As a team, the Longhorns ranks fifth in the nation in batting average (.319) and have the fourth-most home runs (125).
There's not too much stress on the pitchers given the amount of runs this group puts up, but that didn't prevent Lucas Gordon and Pete Hansen, the team's most consistent starters, from having great seasons. In 15 starts, Gordon went 7-1 with a 2.68 ERA. Hansen posted a record of 11-2 with a 3.40 ERA. Tristan Stevens, who has the third-most starts on the team, was masterful in the all-important Game 3 against East Carolina, going six innings and only allowing one earned run on five hits.
Notable names coming out of the bullpen include Marcus Olivarez with his stunning 0.72 ERA, Jared Southard, Lebarron Johnson and Luke Harrison.
Texas A&M (42-18)
How the season went: After a 2021 season that saw Texas A&M go 29-27 and not make the tournament, the Aggies were a whole new team in 2022, going 42-18 and maintaining consistency in the extremely difficult SEC. They won all seven of their final three-game series against SEC opponents before a loss to Florida in the conference tournament.
Texas A&M has been red hot since then. The Aggies put up 32 runs in three games at the College Station Regional to take down Oral Roberts, Louisiana and then-No. 23 TCU to advance to the super regional. There, the Aggies disposed of then-No. 9 Louisville in two games, edging them out in one-run ballgames both days.
Who stood out: Dylan Rock and Ryan Targac stood out the most this season. Rock has a team-high 18 home runs and Targac 15. Jack Moss leads the team in batting average at .391 and he's also been a massive run producer, totaling 47 RBI.
The Aggies have 450 runs on the year and while they don't have a slugger like Melendez, they generate offense from everywhere. Austin Bost enters Omaha with a .359 batting average, nine dingers and 43 RBI. Brett Minnich is batting .306 with 50 RBI.