After three rounds of baseball, the 2013 NCAA Men’s College World Series is down to its final four.
Right now, three-seed Oregon State and Mississippi State are playing for the second time in the CWS. UCLA faces top-seed North Carolina at 8 p.m. tonight.
The final four have all had to scrap to get this far. Pitching has dominated the CWS. Scoring has been difficult for most teams. Of the 10 contests played so far, five have been one-run games.
Several pitchers have thrown deep into games and dominated opposing hitters. Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig of UCLA both pitched seven innings in wins, and Joey DeNato and Aaron Slegers both threw complete games for Indiana. Oregon State hurler Matt Boyd pitched the entire game in the win over the Hoosiers on Wednesday and North Carolina’s Hobbs Johnson threw 8.1 innings in a 7-0 win over North Carolina State on Thursday.
Since the tournament is double elimination, the Championship Series matchup will be set either by the end of today or tomorrow.
Oregon State has already lost once, so if the Beavers lose to Mississippi State they will be out of the tournament. But if the Bulldogs lose, the two teams will play again Saturday since a team has to lose twice to be eliminated. The same applies for UCLA and North Carolina. The Bruins have not lost, while the Tar Heels have. (Only one top seed — Miami, in 1999 — has won the CWS.)
The close scores and elimination games have made for great baseball, and it should only continue until a national champion is crowned.
Who do you think will advance to the final round and ultimately become the national champs?
Photo: North Carolina first baseman Cody Stubbs catches a throw ahead of NC State's Jake Armstrong, June 21, 2013. (Eric Francis/AP)