By Benjamin Chase
A crazy weekend of baseball finished with one team needing to beat another three times over the course of the weekend to earn a trip to the Super Regions, to be held this coming weekend.
The Super Regional level of the NCAA Men’s College World Series tournament is a best-of-three format round, with the top eight teams moving on to Omaha, Neb. to compete for the championship.
Reviewing the Field
Of the 16 host teams, only half even made it into the Super Regionals. Third-seed Arkansas and fourth-seed Clemson were both out, along with sixth-seeded Vanderbilt.
So who is left? That’s a great question.
Top seed Wake Forest will host 16-seed Alabama while second-seeded Florida will host No. 15-seed South Carolina. Those two series will represent fully half of the remaining national seeds in the Super Regional round!
Tennessee and Southern Miss will face off, as will Oral Roberts and Oregon in two Super Regional matchups without a host site team involved. The location for those series will be bid on by the two participants, so it is not known at the time of this article.
Fifth-seeded LSU hosts 12-seed Kentucky and seventh-seeded Virginia hosts Duke in two of the three Super Regional matchups featuring two teams from the same conference (Florida/South Carolina is the third interconference matchup).
Indiana State had to work hard to make Super Regionals as the 14th seed, where they now draw a hungry Texas Christian team that just upset third-seed Arkansas. Finally, No. 8 Stanford finished three victories over Texas A&M over the weekend to advance to host Texas.
So those are the teams…who are the names to watch?
The consensus top three college prospects in the upcoming 2023 draft - frequently ranked as the top three overall prospects for the draft, the top four college arms in the draft, and at least half the top 10 college bats in the draft will be participating in Super Regionals.
Lousiana State has potentially the top two picks in the draft this year in ace Paul Skenes and outfielder Dylan Crews. Skenes is widely considered the best college pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg, and that includes THREE college arms taken with the top overall pick since Strasburg in 2009 (Gerrit Cole 2011, Mark Appel 2013, Casey Mize 2018).
The big reason Skenes may fall out of the top spot in the draft is teammate Crews, a legit 5-tool talent who is putting up video game numbers while playing in the top college baseball conference in the country. Wyatt Langford of Florida is widely considered the third-best prospect in the draft, and he’d be far and away the No. 1 overall pick in nearly any other year.
Beyond the top three, a number of elite talents will be in play this coming weekend. Pitchers Chase Dolander of Tennessee, Hursten Waldrop of Florida, and Rhett Lowder of Wake Forest have the opportunity to make a big impact for their respective clubs.
Virginia’s Kyle Teel, Stanford’s Tommy Troy, Wake Forest’s Brock Wilkin, and Texas Christian’s Brayden Taylor are the next tier of top college bats that will be in play.
All in all, this is must-watch television for the baseball fan looking to get a sneak peek at the stars of tomorrow’s MLB!
Benjamin Chase is a newspaper reporter in rural South Dakota with a huge love for baseball. He is an editor for Here’s the Pitch, does a weekly podcast on the Pallazzo Podcast network, and writes for Rotoballer, among others. He can be found on Twitter @biggentleben.