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2016 CWS Preview

June 16, 2016
Article by Jacob Geiser

It's been awhile since Bolt has written for BSN, so pardon me if I'm a bit rusty. It is the best time of the year right now. College baseball is back in Omaha for the 2016 College World Series. It has been a very eventful tournament up to this point. It had everything you would want. Only 8 teams are heading into Omaha. Florida, Miami (FL), Texas Tech, Arizona, UC Santa Barbara, Oklahoma State, Coastal Carolina, and TCU. Only 3 of the nationally ranked seeds are standing (Florida, Miami (FL), and Texas Tech).

The CWS is broken down into 2 groups:

Group 1: Miami (FL), Oklahoma State, Arizona, UC Santa Barbara
Group 2: Florida, Texas Tech, TCU, Coastal Carolina

I'll break down my favorite, my dark horse, and my Cinderella.

Favorite: #1 Florida
The nations favorite to win the tournament is the Florida Gators. They have one of the most talented pitching rotations in baseball led by #6 overall pick A.J. Puk. Puk isn't even their number one as he stands behind Logan Shore and Alex Faedo. Reliever Dane Dunning is also a force out of the bullpen and is that lock down pitcher you want in late innings. Buddy Reed and Peter Alonso lead the way at the plate. Sophomore J.J Schwarz was last year's SEC freshmen of the year, but he has had a down year compared to last year's record setting season. The sophomore can always get hot and Omaha would be the perfect time. Florida is the #1 team in the nation, but did not, by any means, coast to Omaha. Teams like Miami, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State will be breathing down their necks all tournament. I like Florida because you can never have enough pitching in Omaha. I remember watching the CWS when I was younger and North Carolina always had amazing pitching. I was a big UNC baseball fan growing up, bandwagon or not. They were good. They lost to an even better Oregon State team two straight years. Pitching is a key in Omaha, Florida has a ton of it. If the Gators can get some run support, I like Florida emerging out of Group 1.

Dark Horse: Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are my dark horse, but are right behind Florida as my favorite to win it all. They are one of the hottest teams heading to Omaha. They haven't lost a single game in the tournament so far, they are sitting at 5-0. They blasted Clemson in their own regional and went on to defeat a College Baseball powerhouse in Tito's South Carolina Gamecocks. Thomas Hatch is the Big 12's pitcher of the year and he leads what has been a surprising run for the Cowboys. I like them so much because I have watched them the most. It has been completely by chance as well. The day before I left for Panama, they dominated Clemson. I watched them twice while in my room in Panama and they handled the Gamecocks. They are getting plenty of run support followed by lights out pitching. I'm a Cowboys fan when the games start tomorrow. The only team standing in their way are the Hurricans of Miami. Who went 3 games with ACC foe Boston College. I like what the Cowboys bring to the table, watch out for them to turn heads the next two weeks.

Cinderella: Coastal Carolina 
College Baseball always has that one Cinderella team make it to Omaha. It's what makes college baseball so fun, and, in my opinion, this year's team are the Chanticleers. Chanticleers is another name for a rooster, just to let you all know. They are headed to the CWS for the first time in program history. That is something special that the players will feed off of. They are battle tested. They took down LSU in their own regional beating them in 2 games. They have one of the best offense's in the nation. They lead the NCAA in HR's. Omaha isn't a HR friendly ball park but they can still do some damage. If Coastal Carolina can knock of Florida in that first game, you could see my Cinderella ruining some of the "experts" picks. 

After a little hiatus from BSN, it feels good to be back.