The Oregon State Beavers are returning to the College World Series for the first time in three seasons; it is also the 10th anniversary of when they became the last team to repeat as champions.
Ranked No. 1 in the nation, Oregon State has already gone undefeated in both the Regional and Super Regional Rounds. The Beavers defeated the College of the Holy Cross and Yale twice in the Regional Round and beat the always powerhouse Vanderbilt Commodores in the Super Regionals.
Now, they are the No. 1 seed entering the College World Series which begins Saturday with a game against another school well-known for its baseball program, Cal State Fullerton.
The final round of the NCAA tournament is the College World Series in which eight teams compete for the championship title. Six other teams will compete for their turn to be the champions of the College World Series alongside Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton.
The other six schools are Florida State, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, Louisville, Texas Christian University and the University of Florida. However, Oregon State is the heavy favorite and the No. 1 seed.
Last year’s NCAA College World Series champs from Coastal Carolina University are noticeably absent from this year’s list of eight teams.
The tournament consists of eight rounds beginning on Saturday, June 17, and culminating in a best of three series between the two teams left standing that will be played June 26 through June 28.
All College World Series games are played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha and can be viewed on ESPN and ESPN2. The College World Series will also be streamed via the ESPN app and viewed on any online device.
The Beavers will be making their seventh College World Series appearance and will be looking to win their third ever title after winning back to back titles in 2006 and 2007. It’s appropriate timing, being the anniversary of their last win.
They have the best pitching staff in the nation led by right-hander Jake Thompson who went 14-0 with 1.52 ERA over the regular season. He’s also nominated for, and will very likely take home, the 2017 Dick Howser Award.
Leading the Oregon State offense is second baseman Nick Madrigal. He led the team in batting average (.383), hits (85) and runs scored (52), according to Anthony Chiusano of NCAA.com, who goes on to draw comparisons between Madrigal and the Boston Red Sox Dustin Pedroia — his small stature, his dedication to the game, excellent “defense and sneaky power.” Madrigal hit 19 doubles this season.
The team went 54-4 during the regular season, making them the top seed and the team to beat as play begins Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The full television schedule for the 2017 College World Series can be found here.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]