Oklahoma is one of eight teams that will begin playing for the college baseball national championship this weekend. The Sooners are the tournament's 5th seeded team with a 49-16 record. This is Oklahoma's 10th appearance in the college world series with two titles. Their road to Omaha went through Norman with wins over ORU and North Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia where the knocked off the Virginia Cavilers, a team that many had tabbed to win the national championship.
The Sooners have eight players in their lineup who are batting over .300 with Garrett Buechele leading the way at .371. Ten game winner, Bobby Shore has become the ace of Oklahoma's pitching staff but Zach Neal and Ryan Gibson are better than solid. Led by Jack Mayfield (5-0, 2.49 ERA) Oklahoma's bullpen is very good and Ryan Duke will be one of the best closers in Omaha.
Oklahoma has a 2-1 record against other world series teams with wins over TCU and a loss to UCLA. That's a sneak peek at the Sooners. Here's the rest of the field.
#1 Arizona State (52-8) The Sun Devils are the complete package as far as baseball teams go. Colorado's new conference mates on the gridiron and the hardwood under fist year head coach Tim Esmay. They made it to Omaha by blowing through Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Hawaii in the regional and beat Arkansas in two marathon games (12 innings in each game) during the super regional.
ASU has seven players hitting above .300 in their lineup and first baseman Riccio Torrez (.399) leads three players batting better than .390. All three of Arizona State's starting pitchers have won ten games or more and Seth Blair is perfect on the season at 12-0.
This is ASU's 22 appearance in the CWS with five titles to their credit. Going 3-0 against UCLA gives the Sun Devils a perfect record against world series teams.
#2 TCU (51-12) The Frogs are making their college world series debut. They made it to Omaha by knocking off Lamar, Arizona and Baylor and then taking two of three from the Longhorns in Austin (Oh Yeah!) in the Super Regional.
TCU's entire lineup hits .300 or better led by designated hitter Joe Weik's .380. Steven Maxwell has a 2.41 ERA but lefty Matt Purke has a 14-0 record. TCU went 0-2 against the Sooners this season making them winless against other world series teams.
#3 Florida (47-15)
The Gators are making their sixth appearance in the college world series after downing the Miami Hurricanes in the super regional. Before that they put a beat down on Bethune-Cookman, Oregon State and Florida Atlantic in the regional.
Florida has four players hitting better than .300 in their lineup with designated hitter Brian Johnson leading the way at .413. Left handed pitcher Alex Panteliodis is tops on the Florida pitching staff with a 3.26 ERA and an 11-2 record.
This is Florida's sixth appearance in the college world series and their first since 2005. They're 3-4 against other world series teams, going 2-1 against South Carolina and 1-3 against Florida State.
#4 South Carolin (48-15)
The Gamecocks won their regional by handling Bucknell, The Citadel and Virginia Tech. They next won the super regional with by taking out Coastal Carolina in two games.This is South Carolina's ninth appearance in the college world series.
USC has five players in their lineup batting .300 or better, led by left fielder Evan Marzilli's .391. Right handed pitcher Blake Cooper is nasty and is boasting a 12-1 record and 2.81 ERA.
South Carolina is 2-4 against other world series teams by going 1-2 against both Clemson and Florida.
#6 UCLA (48-14) The Bruins are returning to Omaha for the first time since 1997 by way of beating Kent State, LSU and UC Irvine in the Los Angeles regional. They struggled at first against Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regional by dropping the first game and not taking control of the second until the 10th inning before winning game three comfortably.
The Bruins have six players in their lineup batting .300 or better led by third baseman Dean Espy who is hitting .353. On the mound UCLA has three pitchers with at least 10 wins. Rob Rasmussen is the ace. He as an 11-2 record with a 2.73 ERA.
This is UCLA's third trip to the college world series. They have an 0-3 record against world series teams this year, losing all three to Arizona State.
#7 Florida State (47-18) The Seminoles won the Norwich regional by beating Central Connecticut State and the Oregon Ducks. Then they went on to win two of three from Vanderbilt in the Tallahassee super regional.
Florida State has four players batting .300 or better led by center fielder Tyler Holt's .352 batting average. Left handed pitcher Brian Busch has the lowest ERA among the starters at 3.97 to go along with his 5-2 record.
This is Florida State's 20th appearance in the college world series. They have a 3-4 record against other world series teams by going 3-1 against Florida and 0-3 against Clemson.
#8 Clemson (43-23) The Tigers are the dark horse of the field in my opinion. They have a 5-1 record against world series teams by going 2-1 against South Carolina and 3-0 against Florida State. They knocked out Southern Mississippi and Auburn in the Auburn regional and the hosted a super regional where they beat Alabama in two of three games.
Clemson has seven players in their lineups batting .300 or better led by short stop Brad Miller who is hitting .369. Lefty Casey Harman has a 7-3 record and a 3.73 ERA.
The Tigers are making their 12th appearance in the college world series.