Image credit: (Photo by Eddie Kelly)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview the College World Series, which gets underway on Saturday, by taking a look at the first four games of the event.
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The games discussed are:
- North Carolina State will take on Stanford at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. Both teams have reason to be flying high coming into the CWS. NC State just took down the number one team in the nation in super regionals, while Stanford drubbed Texas Tech in Lubbock in a way that teams often don’t beat the Red Raiders on their home turf. In a way, these two teams try to win games similarly, as both have a talented lineup and pitching staffs that will try to stay on schedule.
- Vanderbilt and Arizona doing battle at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday. This should be a blockbuster matchup and contrast in style. Arizona boasts perhaps the best lineup in college baseball, a group that flexed its muscles once again last weekend against Mississippi. It will have its hands full, however, with Vandy’s Kumar Rocker, who is expected to get the ball. When you talk about the kind of matchups that can only take place in Omaha, this is what you’re talking about.
- On Sunday, Tennessee and Virginia will kick things off at 2 p.m. ET. The Volunteers bring a well-balanced attack to the proceedings, with an offense that can hit the long ball at will and a pitching staff that has some depth to it. Although it was pushed in both the regional and super regional, Virginia seems to be playing its best baseball right now, with its pitching depth really shining through when needed the most.
- The final first game of the event is a matchup between historical college baseball powers Mississippi State and Texas at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday. Whether it’s Will Bednar or Christian Macleod on the mound for MSU, it will be a tough task to match Texas’ Ty Madden, but that will be the challenge. One thing to watch for with the Longhorns is how ready they are for a big-time game against a big-time opponent. By taking on South Florida in the super regional and facing Southern, Arizona State and Fairfield in the regional, it has been a while since UT has truly been pushed, and it’s a safe bet that the Bulldogs will be ready to play.