2013 NCAA Men’s College World Series Outlook
Each year TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska plays host to college baseball’s biggest event when eight final teams compete in the NCAA Division I College World Series. Having battled through multiple series of competition against the best Division 1 baseball teams in the country, these teams have come a long way to reach the CWS. As play gets underway in Omaha, they’ll have just a few more steps to go before one team can call themselves National Champions.
The CWS officially kicked off on June 14th with an opening day of celebrations. Games began play the day after, in double-elimination tournament format to determine the two teams who will advance to the best-out-of-three championship series. On June 24, these final two teams will face each other for the Championship; by June 26, there will be only one team left standing.
This year the final pool of eight includes: Mississippi State, Oregon State, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, UCLA, and LSU. Each team includes Baseball Factory alumni on their roster. Both LSU and Mississippi State have 10 or more alumni currently playing for them, accounting for about a third of their respective rosters. Among all eight teams, nearly one in every four players in this year’s CWS went through the Baseball Factory program.
Leading up to this year’s CWS, the tournament has been hyped as one of the more exciting years in college baseball. With the exception of UCLA, none of the eight teams were in Omaha last year, which goes to show how unpredictable the regional games can be. Any team has a chance at coming out on top at the end, regardless of their previous rank or reputation. Throughout the regionals a few Baseball Factory alumni really made an impact and entering the tournament Saturday, their teams will be counting on them to continue the success.
Even though this year marks Indiana’s first trip to Omaha in program history, they are considered by many as favorites to win the whole thing. They have been on fire throughout the playoffs, winning the Bloomington Regional and then going on to sweep Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional. Scott Donley, a Baseball Factory alumnus, is a leading force of Indiana’s explosive offense. Donley has started all but three of Indiana’s games this year, posting a .361 average throughout the season and driving in an incredible 59 runs through Monday. With his help, Indiana is going to be tough to beat.
The LSU Tigers are also a favorite to win here in Omaha, and two of their top players have come through Baseball Factory. JaCoby Jones has certainly made a name for himself at LSU. The 2009 Under Armour All-American earned Freshman All-American, Louisiana’s Freshman Player of the Year, Freshman All-SEC, and Freshman SEC Player of the Week in his first year as a Tiger. He continued his success and was most recently selected in the 3rd round of MLB Draft by Pittsburgh. JaCoby has really heated up in the playoffs, making game changing plays for the Tigers, especially in the Super Regional series versus Oklahoma. Pitcher Aaron Nola, considered by many to be LSU’s ace, has also been an essential part of the LSU arsenal. In his freshman year at LSU last season, Nola was named All-SEC and Freshman First team All American. Nola threw a complete game four-hitter against Florida this past May, and then another complete game two-hitter against Oklahoma in one of his best performances of his college career.
Ty Moore, UCLA’s freshman outfielder is another notable alumnus of the Baseball Factory program. As a high school senior, Ty earned USA Today’s All-American honors at Mater Dei High School, with a .406 BA, 23 RBI’s, and 23 stolen bases. Ty was selected out of high school by the New York Yankees in the 2012 MLB Draft, but elected to join UCLA this year. Ty is one of the best freshmen UCLA has had in a long time and is expected to be a driving force in UCLA’s offensive in this year’s CWS.
Considered an underdog in this year’s tournament, Mississippi State defeated third ranked Virginia in the Super-Regionals to advance to Omaha. Among the 14 Baseball Factory alumni on the Bulldogs’ roster, infielder Adam Frazier has been racking up monstrous statistics all year including a .359 batting average on the season. He also has the most multiple-hit games out of anyone on the team, 33 in total. He has the second longest hitting streak and the second longest reached base streak, getting a hit in 13 straight games this season and reaching base 18 times in a row. Frazier will need to step up and perform if the Bulldogs want to compete in this tournament.
The College World Series promises to be an unpredictable battle between these eight teams in Omaha. Baseball Factory was once home to several of these athletes, as it is for many more who dream of making it to the College World Series one day. We are proud of all our former players and would like to congratulate them on earning the opportunity to compete for a National Title. While most fans are pulling for a specific team this June, we can sit back and enjoy the series, knowing that whoever the winning team is, there will be at least a few of our alumni celebrating a National Championship.
Click here for a complete list of Baseball Factory alumni competing in this year’s College World Series.