At the end of the season, two teams top the worlds of baseball and softball in college, far, far ahead of their rivals.
In baseball, Tennessee is the favorite to win the College World Series after the 53-7 season. In softball, it’s Oklahoma, with a plausible 54-2.
Tennessee set an impressive record and won No. 1 in the standings while playing in the tough Southeast Conference, which has nine teams in the tournament, including three other top 16 placed. Tennessee finished this difficult class with a record of 25-5 in the conference, then won four in a row to take the SEC tournament.
Drew Gilbert hit 0.385 this season, and Trey Lipscomb had a 0.737 delay rate with 21 homers. But the whole Tennessee squad can hurt you. Eight players have reached double-digit howers this season, despite only 150 to 200 bats for most. The team’s breakthrough rate is 0.604, the best in Division I, and it ranks fourth at the base level.
But as great as the strikers are, the main problem for opponents is that it is extremely difficult to hit Tennessee. The five major players posted an ERA of 1.67 to 2.61 and allowed average watts of .159 to .213. The staff led Division I with a 2.35 ERA and no other team was under 3.00.
Three players are expected to enter the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft for 2022: Gilbert; Jordan Beck, another outfielder; and pitcher Blade Tidwell, although he missed much of the season due to injury.
But despite the dominance of the Volunteers this season, they cannot be considered a sure thing. The college world series is extremely difficult to win. While the preliminary matches with double eliminations are usually not so difficult for the first placed, the best of the three “super regional” that follows is usually against a tough opponent. And actual World Series with eight teams usually requires victories over several top 5 or top 10 teams to win the title.
As a result, the above seeds regularly fall over the years. In fact, Miami in 1999 was the last number one to win. In the 21 tournaments since then, three No. 2 and 3. No. 3 have won, but the top eight placed have won only 10 times, compared to 11 teams not in the top eight.
And Tennessee is hardly the traditionally dominant baseball force in college. Although the Volunteers qualified for the World Series last season, finishing seventh, they had a record loss in the SEC each season from 2006 to 2019. Their best World Series final was second in 1951.
So, although they are preferred by the odds, they are not extremely low cost. They are currently just 5-2 (the next best are No. 3 Oregon State with 9-1 and No. 2 Stanford and No. 4 Virginia Tech with 12-1).
To tackle this story, Tennessee will first have to win a group that includes Georgia Tech, Campbell and Alabama State, starting Friday at home, and then beating a potential No. 16 Georgia Southern next week to enter the World Series in Omaha, starting June 17. he is likely to face a host of strong teams that could include most or all of the other favorites.
Oklahoma is looking for a repeat in softball
College softball also has a dominant team this season. If nothing else, it strikes its rivals even more.
Oklahoma set a staggering 54-2 record, including a 17-1 Big 12 regular season and five consecutive wins in the NCAA tournament to qualify for the World Series with eight teams in Oklahoma City, starting Thursday.
His two losses came against Texas in the regular season and Oklahoma State in the SEC 4-2 and 4-3. In contrast, his victories include many results such as 21-0, 19-0 and 15-1. These margins would undoubtedly be much higher without the softball mercy rule that stops play after five innings if a team is at least eight runs behind.
The scary thing about potential opponents is that they will most likely have to defeat the Sooners twice to eliminate them. In earlier rounds, Texas A&M lost a close 3-2 loss to Oklahoma. The rematch ended 20-0.
Oklahoma is led by Jocelyn Hello, college player of the year who has scored more home runs in his career than any other player in Division I history. She has 29 homers this year, reaching 0.497 (both second in the nation) and 1,163. She is not the only threat: Tiare Jennings has 24 Homers and Grace Lions 21. The team hit .369, the best in the nation.
And good luck fighting them. Hope Trautwein is 18-1 with the best in the country 0.40 ERA How can one publish such an impressive number? In short, just throw 104⅓ innings, giving up just six runs.
Jordi Ball, the national freshman of the year, is 21-1 with a 0.95 ERA Do you think the third holder will give you a chance to win? Nicole May is 15-0, with a 0.99 ERA
And the story is much more favorable to the first seeds in the Women’s College World Series. Number 1 has won in four of the last 10 years, including last season’s No. 1: Who But Oklahoma?
But in this World Series, Oklahoma lost its discoverer to the unplaced James Madison, 4-3, in eight innings: a ray of hope for those who dream of nightmares about Troutwein and Alo bombs.