The Virginia Cavaliers are heading back to Omaha for a sixth time since 2009. The Hoos have gotten excellent starting pitching to support the powerful lineup in their march through the Regionals and Super Regionals.
But who are they set to see in the College World Series?
During UVA’s magical run in 2015 to the national title, the Cavaliers squared off against the Kevin O’Sullivan lead squad and upset them twice to advance to the national championship series. The Gators will be the favorite heading in to the week as the highest remaining seed on Virginia’s side of the bracket as they are the No. 2 overall seed and have a 50-15 overall record.
The Gators steamrolled through the regular season to a 20-10 conference record that won them the SEC East and tied Arkansas for best record in the conference. Since then, they haven’t really slowed down winning the regional and super regional in Gainesville by a combined score of 37 to 12. They placed 5 on the First Team All-SEC team and two on the Freshman All-SEC team.
TCU was always thought to have the talent to make it back to Omaha as they entered the season ranked No. 15 by D1baseball. A late April and early May swoon likely lost their regional host when they dropped three straight series to UNC Wilmington, West Virginia, and Texas, but they rebounded nicely cruising to the Big 12 Tournament Title.
They haven’t looked back since going 3-0 in their regional at Arkansas before sweeping Indiana State in Fort Worth (though it should not have been a home super regional). This will be the Horned Frogs’ sixth appearance in the College World Series as well and their first trip since 2017. TCU holds a 2-1 advantage in games against the Cavaliers, but UVA won the only game that was played in Omaha between the two in 2014.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
The College World Series had not seen a four seed make Omaha since Stony Brook’s impressive run in 2012. The Golden Eagles destroyed the competition in the seven team Summit League going 23-1 in the regular season before easily winning the Summit League tournament a few weeks ago. Since starting stiffer competition in the regionals, they have played closer games with all but one of their seven NCAA Tournament games being decided by three runs or fewer. In their Super Regional against Oregon, they lead the Ducks 8-0 in the opening game before Oregon was able to come back to win 9-8.
Not to be outdone, Oral Roberts used three singles and a walk to score two runs in the 9th inning of the second game to win 8-7. Though Oregon jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first in the deciding game, the Golden Flashes scored a sing run in the 3rd and three more in the 4th to take the lead that they’d never give back. A mainstay in the NCAA Tournament with 29 appearances heading in to 2023, the Eugene Super Regional was only the program’s second appearance in a Super Regional. It will also be ORU’s second trip to the College World Series, but the first since 1978.