The College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska has been giving baseball fans nothing but excitement over these past few weeks and it is almost time to crown a champion. The Greatest Show on Dirt will give people around the world one last show with two traditional powers going head to head. Oregon State and Arkansas are neck and neck going towards the finish line and there can only be one winner. Both teams have had fantastic seasons up to this point and one will be crowned the National Champion once one of these two powerhouses wins two games. These two teams are no stranger to the spotlight and have combined for 16 trips to Omaha. However, the Razorbacks have never won a World Series. They were runners-up in 1979. The Beavers won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007. There is no doubt that both teams will be fired up and ready to go once the first pitch is thrown.
College World Series Finals Viewing Details
Dates: June 25th, 26th, and 27th (if necessary)
Times: 6:00 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Live Stream: WatchESPN App
Oregon State Beavers (53-11-1)
The Beavers from Corvallis, Oregon have only lost one game since their championship quest began and there is no doubt that they are an extremely talented bunch. Nick Madrigal is the heart and soul of that team and the number four overall pick in this year’s draft will be seeing a lot of time in the MLB with the White Sox in the coming years. Madrigal is batting .395 in only 167 at bats this season. However, his presence in the field is a huge boost to the already stout Oregon State defense. He has committed only one error this season. Adley Rutschman is an absolute stud at the plate batting .397 this season with eight long balls, 80 RBI’s, and 22 doubles. The young catcher is expected to be an early first round pick in the 2019 draft. Trevor Larnach on the other hand, is the Daddy Hack King and has one thing on his mind when he steps up to the plate. Go yard. Larnach has sent 18 balls to Mars this year and he has a serious chance to reach 20 in these next few games. The Minnesota Twins prospect has a knack for the long ball.
Oregon State’s pitching this season has been extremely sharp for a large component of 2018 with a team ERA of 3.33. Especially Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel. The two have a combined record of 26-3 this season alongside 217 strikeouts. Freshman Jake Mulholland has he lowest ERA on the team at 2.25 and picks his spots extremely well. However, the Beavers have been a bit unstable on the mound over the past few games. Luckily, their offense came to the rescue and bailed out their struggling arms. This pitching staff against the Arkansas offense should be an extremely fun battle to watch and there is no doubt that these games will deliver a whole lot of excitement.
Arkansas Razorbacks (47-19)
WOO! PIG! SOOIE! RAZORBACKS! The Hogs are calling and have taken Omaha by storm. This team is hot and there’s no other way of putting it. The Razorbacks have won their last four games in convincing fashion and are poised to win their first-ever national championship. Eliminating defending national champion Florida was a huge boost for this team and their confidence is through the roof. Casey Martin leads the team in hitting with a .357 average followed by Heston Kjerstad and Carson Shaddy at .337 and .335 respectively. Eric Cole leads the Razorbacks in hits with 88 on the season and Kjerstad has 57 RBI’s. The quartet of Martin, Kjerstad, Shaddy, and Cole have combined for 54 home runs and there is no shortage of power in this lineup. The Arkansas offense is extremely balanced and there isn’t any need for one player to carry the team. It’s a total team effort for this group and you can see it when they’re on the field. The Razorbacks have a number of draft picks in Eric Cole, Carson Shady, Grant Koch, Jax Biggers, and Blaine Knight.
The pitching staff for Arkansas has team ERA of 3.55 and is led by Baltimore Orioles draft pick Blaine Knight. Knight is an astounding 13-0 this season with a 2.88 ERA and opponents have been hitting .226 against him this season. In addition to Knight, Kacey Murphy and Isaiah Campbell are the two others starters. Murphy is 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA and Campbell is 5-6 with a 4.12 ERA. Knight has a chance to finish the long season undefeated and his team is two wins away from their first-ever national championship. They have a chance to defeat a perennial giant that makes a living out of trips to Omaha every June.
Both teams have worked extremely hard to get to this point and it’s honestly a shame that someone has to lose this series. Oregon State and Arkansas are about as even as you could get in regards to style of play, offense, defense, and pitching. Draft picks are plentiful on each side and it’s only a matter of time until these two take the field at TD Ameritrade Park.
The lingering concern for Oregon State is the status of Steven Kwan. He is expected to play in game one but what percent will he be playing at? Hamstring strains aren’t something that you can shake off in a few days. Aggravating it more could spell trouble and Kwan is easily one of the most balanced players on the Oregon State roster. The Beavers’ pitching staff has been hit a lot over the past few games as well. How will they respond to an extremely hot Arkansas team? The Razorbacks will do just enough in game three to hold off the Beavers. These will games definitely not disappoint and they will all be extremely tight from start to finish. Omaha will be at the center of the baseball universe and this championship series will be an absolute must-watch for those baseball junkies all around the world.
Prediction: Arkansas in three