The College World Series is down to the Final 4 teams. After sending 4 teams to Omaha, the ACC is now down to 1; although this team is 2-0 and has its two aces rested and ready. The North Carolina Tar Heels are in control of the top bracket and have their two first round picks headed to the mound against Cal State Fullerton Titans. The Titans must defeat the Heels twice to advance to the Finals. However, Fullerton has had a knack for coming from behind in the World Series. They were down to their last strike against Georgia Tech and fell behind Clemson 6-3 before winning 7-6. These two teams met in the first round with UNC winning a 13 inning thriller.
I think UNC will be very tough to beat with Daniel Bard (1st rd-Boston) and Andrew Miller (1st rd-Detroit) taking the mound if necessary in a second game. The Titans play with the motto "Jab… Grind" symbolizing their never say die attitude so evident in their last two games. I expect the Titans to come out and win game 1, but not have enough gas left in the tank for game 2.
The lone team on the bottom half of the bracket, Miami, lost to Oregon St last night in an elimination game 8-1 after defeating Oregon St 11-1 in the first round. Though the Hurricanes are disappointed by their elimination, they extended their consecutive trips to the College World Series with at least 1 win to 19. Rice is the team to beat in the bottom bracket and has two chances to beat Oregon St to advance to the Finals. Rice looks to be the heavy favorite in the side of the bracket.
If UNC and Rice meet in the Finals, you will see some of the best pitching this side of the Major Leagues. If Cal-State Fullerton can make it to the Finals, then they will have a rematch with Rice who they lost two games to this year. Those two losses helped catapult Fullerton to a strong finish and a College World Series run. However, I think Rice has too much pitching and enough hitting to win this World Series. I am thinking they should be around a 2:1 favorite right now.
Cal State Fullerton 5:1
Oregon State 10:1