NCAA Baseball Super Regionals Preview and Predictions
The NCAA Division I baseball Super Regional field is set. Games will begin this Friday, June 7 and go through Monday, June 10. If you aren’t aware how it works for college baseball, the Super Regional stage of the postseason features 16 teams which are paired up with another team to play a best of three series. The winner of each series will advance to Omaha, Nebraska to play in the College World Series. Here is a short preview and prediction for each Super Regional series:
#10 East Carolina (47-16) @ #7 Louisville (47-16)
Two teams with the exact same records will meet in the city famous for making big-league baseball bats. Both of these teams had to fight back from the loser’s bracket in their regional, but they did and now they’re here. ECU has the higher batting average and 27 more home runs than Louisville on the year, but the Cardinals have the lower team ERA and opponent batting average. It will take all three games, but Louisville will advance to Omaha on Sunday because of facing a tough ACC schedule for most of the year.
Predicted Winner: Louisville in 3
#9 Oklahoma State (39-19) @ #8 Texas Tech (42-17)
The Big 12 conference opponents will face off in Lubbock this weekend, with each trying to be the one team that will represent the conference in Omaha. Both of these teams can really hit it well, so it should be pretty fun to watch, but I have the Red Raiders taking this one in front of their home fans. They beat the Cowboys in all three meetings this season, so while I don’t think they’ll go 5-0 against them (because that would be extremely difficult), I don’t think they will lose 2 out of 3 to them at home.
Predicted Winner: Texas Tech in 3
Duke (34-25) @ #2 Vanderbilt (52-10)
The biggest discrepancy between the number of wins from two teams in this Super Regional will be in this series. Duke has the least amount of wins of all Super Regional teams, but they are playing well at the right time. The problem is they are playing a VERY good team and #2 overall tournament seed in the Vanderbilt Commodores, who are hungry to get back to Omaha for the first time since 2015, and a place they had gotten real comfortable with. Former Appalachian State coach Chris Pollard is doing great things with the Blue Devil program, but they aren’t quite ready to butt heads with a program like Vandy yet.
Predicted Winner: Vanderbilt in 2
Michigan (44-19) @ #1 UCLA (51-9)
UCLA is the tournament’s #1 overall seed and I expect them to play like it this weekend. Even though they survived a scare last weekend in the regional, they will come to play this weekend and get back to Omaha. They have too much talent not to, showcased with three of their players getting taken on the first day of the MLB draft. Michigan beat Creighton twice and Cincinnati once last weekend to get here, and a very solid team, but I just don’t think they match up all that well with UCLA.
Predicted Winner: UCLA in 2
#12 Ole Miss (40-25) @ #5 Arkansas (44-17)
Another set of conference foes squaring off against each other in this one, this time out of the SEC. Both of these teams are very good, with an impressive 40+ wins coming out of the SEC. It’s a shame one of them has to go home. Ole Miss has won 3 out of the 5 matchups so far this season with the Razorbacks, going 1-1 against them in the SEC tournament. I think Ole Miss escapes with two victories this weekend, but it will take all three games.
Predicted Winner: Ole Miss in 3
Florida State (39-21) @ #13 LSU (40-24)
Two pretty evenly matched teams here in my opinion, just one win apart. LSU is a tough place to go into and escape with a win, with their rowdy fans, but I think Florida State will do just that. I actually think they’ll do it in two games. The reason for this: Florida State is playing inspired right now for their legendary coach Mike Martin, who is making his final run at a College World Series this season before stepping down from the helm in Tallahassee. He’s had an incredible run, and I don’t think it will end quite this soon.
Predicted Winner: Florida State in 2
Auburn (36-25) @ #14 North Carolina (45-17)
North Carolina has had another great season, winning 45 games in the powerful ACC. They were close to having to go down to Georgia Tech for this Super Regional, but a comeback by Auburn gave the Tar Heels the chance to host another weekend. Auburn is hot right now, but in the end I think the Tar Heels have too much talent. Though they play a little shaky sometimes, I think they get it done and advance back to Omaha.
Predicted Winner: North Carolina in 2
#11 Stanford (45-12) @ #6 Mississippi State (49-13)
The Bulldogs are coming into this series after sweeping their regional, while the Cardinal had to advance from the loser’s bracket in theirs to make it here. Stanford had a great season and are looking to continue it by making their first trip to Omaha since 2008 at Rosenblatt Stadium. Mississippi State has been dominant in recent years, this year marking their fourth straight Super Regional (the only team in the country that can say that in the last four years). This Bulldog team can really hit it, 5th in the country in team batting average. I think they get it done to be the second team from Mississippi to play in Omaha.
Predicted Winner: Mississippi State in 2