One fact you may not know about each of the 2018 College World Series teams
With the 2018 College World Series field set, here is one thing you may not know about each team in the CWS:
Oregon State hasn’t lost a series since April 6-8
UNC's 5-year gap between CWS trips was the longest of Mike Fox's career
North Carolina coach Mike Fox has reached Omaha a total of seven times since he took over the program in 1999. But with the exception of Washington, which is making its first CWS appearance in 2018, the Tar Heels and Mississippi State each had the longest gap without a College World Series trip of the eight teams playing there this season. UNC's and the Bulldogs' last apperance in the CWS was in 2013.
Florida, Oregon State and Texas Tech all reached Omaha last season. Arkansas last reached the CWS in 2015 and Texas’ last trip prior to this season was 2014. And as crazy as it sounds, the five-gap between CWS appearances was the longest of Fox’s career.
Jake Mangum is one of the most decorated players in Mississippi State history
Much of hype surrounding Mississippi State’s magical run through Regionals and Super Regionals has been about the heroics and emergence of Elijah MacNamee, and deservedly so.
But the heart and soul of the Bulldogs is still junior center fielder and lead off hitter Jake Mangum. Mangum has been named to All-SEC teams in all three of his years in Starkville (1st team: 2016, 2018, 2nd team: 2017) and has been named to the all-defensive team in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first Mississippi State player to accomplish that feat. His 97 hits this season rank seventh overall nationally, and leads the Bulldogs in hits, batting average, runs, doubles and stolen bases. Oh, and he’s coming back for his senior season in 2019.
Washington’s Joe DeMers has logged more innings than any other pitcher appearing in Omaha
When referencing the best starting pitchers on display in the 2018 CWS, most if not all conversations will include the following: Arkansas’ Blaine Knight, Florida’s Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar and Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel. But a name that might not be as commonly recognized to some is Washington’s Joe DeMers.
DeMers has logged the most innings of any pitcher that will be playing in Omaha with 123 innings and in addition to his 16 starts, has made three relief appearances and recorded saves in each including Game 1 of the Super Regionals in a 8-5 Huskies win. The 11th-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics is 7-3 on the year with a 2.56 ERA with three complete games under his belt, including a perfect game in his first outing of 2018.
Arkansas is 9-14 in games played away from Baum Stadium
Arkansas cruised through Regional play in and eventually scored 14 runs in Game 3 of the Super Regionals in Fayetteville to advance to Omaha. But the Razorbacks are a different team away from Baum Stadium. Arkansas is one of two teams in the CWS to have losing records in road and neutral games with a 9-14 record away from Baum (Texas, 10-13), compared to its 34-5 record at home. It’s always a different atmosphere at TD Ameritrade Park, but it will be interesting to see how well the Razorbacks hit away from Baum.
Texas has the most decorated CWS history of any team in the field
The city of Omaha is no stranger to seeing burnt orange at this time of year as the Longhorns secured their record-setting 36th appearance in the College World Series by defeating Tennessee Tech in the Super Regionals in three games.
The Longhorns’ six national championships rank tied for second all-time behind only USC (12 titles) as they are seeking their first since 2005. Another interesting nugget courtesy of Texas Athletics: Every single one of the late Auggie Garrido’s (coached from1997-2016) recruiting classes made at least one trip to Omaha after the Longhorns clinched berth this year.
Every single one of Augie Garrido’s signing classes at Texas has now made it to Omaha. pic.twitter.com/nR7mrp3ZNq— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) June 11, 2018
Florida is looking to become the seventh team in NCAA history to repeat as national champs
It took an ‘unbelievable’ walk-off home run to send the Florida to the College World Series, but the Gators are now looking to become the seventh team in NCAA to repeat as national champions.
Oregon State was the last team to repeat as champions when the Beavers beat UNC in back-to-back-years in 2006 and 2007. Florida is looking to join Oregon State, South Carolina (2010-11), LSU (1996-97), Stanford (1987-88), USC (1970-74) and Texas (1949-50) as teams to win the title in consecutive years.
Four players in this year’s CWS have 70 or more RBIs. Texas Tech has two of them
A total of only four players in the College World Series have produced more than 70 RBI this season, and two of them make up Texas Tech No. 3-4 combo.
Red Raiders’ third basemen Josh Jung (78 RBI) and left fielder Grant Little (73) have produced more runs batted in than anyone playing in Omaha, joining Texas’ Kody Clemens (72) and Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman (70) as the only players with at least 70 RBI. Look for Jung and Little to be key components to Texas Tech’s success, especially with a pitching staff that has. Team ERA of 4.40.