Only sixteen teams left, fighting for the right to play in Omaha next weekend. Super Regional play starts today at eight sites across the country. Each series will be a best of three format. Last weekend I correctly predicted 11 of the 16 Regional champions. Below are my selections for Omaha.
KENTUCKY 43-21 AT LOUISVILLE 50-10
Kentucky will be making their first ever trip to a super regional. First year head coach Nick Mingione has pushed all the right buttons this season. The Wildcats have an edge at the dish, with a lineup that can produce from top to bottom. The difference in this series will be Louisville’s pitching edge. Good pitching, beats good hitting here. Cardinals sweep in two.
FULLERTON 37-21 AT LONG BEACH 42-18
This will be a fantastic series to watch. The Dirtbags are the only team in the country to have taken a series from North Carolina this year and have plenty of experience returning. Both teams have equally good pitching and hitting, so I see no edge either way. They played six games against each other this year, with the Dirtbags winning five of six. The Titans are no stranger to Omaha. They got back Colton Eastman a few weeks ago from injury, giving them a third stud in the rotation. That will make the difference here. Titans in three.
VANDERBILT 36-23-1 AT OREGON STATE 52-4
The Commodores were one of my upset picks coming out of regionals. They dominated the Clemson regional, with great pitching and timely hitting. They travel west to face the top ranked Beavers. If the season ended today, the Beavers with a .929 winning percentage would be the best in college baseball history! The Beavers allow just 2.1 runs per game, a full run better than anyone else. Luke Heimlich, Jake Thompson and Drew Rasmussen will be the difference. Beavers in three.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 40-25 AT LSU 46-17
The Bulldogs played some of their best baseball of the season in last weeks regional. They have perhaps the best hitter in all of college baseball in Brett Rooker. Rooker has a .395 batting average with 23 homers and 82 RBI’s. The problem is the complementary cast will not be enough to topple the Tigers. LSU has owned the Bulldogs in head to head play this year, which included a season ending sweep in Starkville. The Tigers have all the edges in this series. Tigers sweep.
DAVIDSON 35-24 AT TEXAS A&M 39-21
Davidson’s improbable run continued, as they knocked out #2 seed North Carolina last week. The Wildcats had to scramble to even make it in to the Atlantic 10 tournament. This is the third straight season that the Aggies have made it to super regional play. They own distinct advantages in pitching and defense in this series. The Wildcats have the better bats. I picked the Aggies to come out of the Houston regional and they didn’t disappoint. Now they get to play the supers at home. Third time is the charm. Aggies sweep Wildcats.
WAKE FOREST 42-18 AT FLORIDA 45-17
The Gators have one of the top trio of frontline pitchers in the country. All three are projected top draft picks in the future. Florida has been to Omaha in back to back years, which gives then a huge experience edge. The Demon Deacons have an offense that can score in bunches. They rank ninth in the nation in scoring, fifth in slugging, and tops in home runs! Upset special………….Wake rolls into Omaha in three.
SAM HOUSTON 44-21 AT FLORIDA STATE 43-21
The Bearkats sent Texas Tech packing, defeating them twice to claim the Lubbock regional. This upstart bunch will head to Tallahassee with tons of confidence and no pressure. The Seminoles are no stranger to super regional play. Inconsistent play has been a common component for the Seminoles all season long. The Bearkats will give them all kinds of trouble. I’ll side with the Seminoles, but don’t be surprised by an upset. Florida State in three.
MISSOURI STATE 43-18 AT TCU 45-16
Traver, Janczak and Howard, sounds like a law firm. But those are the three starting pitchers the Bears will have to get past, if they expect a trip to Omaha. The Bears have the bats to perhaps do some damage in this series, but do they have the pitching? The answer to that question in no. The Horned Frogs have been to Omaha three years in a row. Make it four, Frogs in three.