Baseball America College Podcast: Rewatching the 2018 Oxford Regional Final
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy continue their series of shows discussing great games in college baseball history that are available on YouTube.
This week's game is the 2018 Oxford Regional final between Mississippi and Tennessee Tech. Ole Miss was looking to advance to Omaha for the first time since 2014, but instead, the game turned out to be the culmination of an outstanding season for Tennessee Tech.
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The Golden Eagles had gone 46-7 in the regular season, at one point had a 28-game winning streak, boasted a lineup of nothing but .300 hitters, led the nation in home runs by a wide margin, and as the icing on the cake, had a pitching staff with several professional arms.
By not only blowing out Ole Miss in game 6 of the regional 15-5 to force the deciding game 7, but also winning the regional outright with a 3-2 victory, Tennessee Tech went from being a nice story and an all-time great team in OVC history to being one of the best Cinderella stories in college baseball history.
To help Teddy and Joe break down the game, former Tennessee Tech coach and current Rice coach Matt Bragga joins the podcast. Among the topics discussed with Bragga are:
- How the win in game 6 of the regional led into the game 7 performance
- The prediction made by starting pitcher Travis Moths before the postseason that the Golden Eagles were going to win the regional and then go to Omaha, and how that was a reflection of the way the team had been taught to think
- How Tennessee Tech was able to take advantage of Ole Miss coming out of the gate a little bit tight
- The pivotal moment in the sixth inning when Ole Miss took a 2-0 lead but was prevented from playing add-on afterward
- Whether Bragga knew that Trevor Putzig's home run was gone off the bat
- The plan to ride reliever Nick Osborne deep into his outing even though he hadn't thrown very much during the season
- The point at which Bragga knew this team was special
- Memories from the 28-game winning streak and the superstitions brought on by such a run
- The win over Florida State in the 2017 Tallahassee Regional that served as a springboard for the 2018 team's success
- How proud the team was to carry the banner for the OVC as a whole