Baseball NCAA Tournament Regional Overview

Oregon State enters the tournament as the top overall seed and they deserve to be the favorites after the year they put together. The Beavers went 49-4 in the regular season, winning every series, have the nations top RPI, and have won 16 straight games. If Oregon State does not make it to Omaha, it would be a monumental upset. North Carolina and Florida join the Beavers as the top seeds in the field and should be heavy favorites to advance to Omaha as well. Both teams won their divisions in conference play and boast rosters full of talent that few teams in the country can match.
Looking at the other national seeds, two teams, LSU and Stanford, stand out. Both teams finished the season on fire, climbing from the back end of the hosting mix into national seed spots. LSU tied Florida for the best record in SEC play and has won 11 straight games, including the SEC Tournament, scoring nine or more runs in seven of those games. Stanford on the other hand has won 21 of their last 23 games since losing a series to UCLA on April 13-15. Both teams will be extremely tough outs. Don’t sleep on Louisville as well. The Cardinals stumbled down the stretch, losing four of their last fives games, but are still 47-10 on the season. With the top player in college baseball, Brendan McKay, at their disposal, Louisville has the potential to make a run to Omaha and get redemption after being upset in the super regionals last season.
Long Beach State is hosting a regional and has a team fully capable of making a run to Omaha. The Dirtbags were the top team in the Big West, going 37-17, 20-4 in conference play, and boast a well balanced team that has five regulars batting over .290, a legit ace in Darren McGaughan flanked by a pair of solid starters in Dave Smith and John Sheaks, and a lights out closer in Chris Rivera. LBSU played a very tough schedule this season, which included series at Oklahoma and North Carolina, and that should prepare them well for the postseason.
Looking at the two seeds, there are three teams, Virginia, Mississippi State, and Missouri State, that have great bodies of works from this season and boast star players capable of breaking a game open. Virginia was snubbed of hosting a regional and with Adam Hasely, one of the nations top two way players, on the roster, the Cavaliers are a team the TCU was likely not happy to see in their regional. Mississippi State travels to Southern Mississippi for their regional, and with Brent Rooker having a season to remember (.404 BA, 21 HR, 73 RBI), Mississippi State is as tough an out as anyone. Missouri State has a pair of hitters that have put up impressive lines of their own in Jake Burger (23 HR, 63 RBI’s) and Jeremy Eierman (19 HR, 61 RBI’s) that will cause problems in the Fayetteville regional.
On the three line, watch out for Auburn. The Tigers were a top10 team at one point this season before falling off down the stretch. With a pair of aces in Keegan Thompson and Casey Mize at their disposal, Auburn has the arms to win a regional. The only question is whether or not the bats will show up. Auburn has just one player hitting over .300 on the year and will need some other guys to step up if they are to make a run.
On the four line, keep an eye on Illinois-Chicago and Iowa. UIC won 39 games this season, which included a series win at Vanderbilt, while Iowa is fresh off a Big Ten tournament title against a field that included four other teams headed to regionals. Both teams are unproven, but have showed brief flashes of their potential this season. If a four seed makes it out of a regional, one of these teams would be the best bet. Chances of that happening are slim, but both teams have shown that they have what it takes to pull off some big upsets.