This weekend, the NCAA Division I Men’s Baseball Tournament continues with the Super Regionals. Eight pairs of teams will play a best-of-three series this weekend, winner goes to Omaha for the College World Series.
This year the Rockies drafted 41 players in the MLB Amateur Draft. Eight of those 41 were high schoolers, two more were from Junior colleges, and 31 were college age players, almost all of whom played in Division I. Several of those players participated in the regionals last weekend, including first round pick Ryan Rolison’s Ole Miss Rebels, only to be eliminated.
In fact, several players made it to the Regional Finals only to miss out on playing this weekend: Rolison and Will Golsan (26th, Ole Miss), Jacob Bird (5th round, UCLA), Nick Bush (8th, LSU), Cade Harris (10th, Oklahoma), and PJ Poulin (11th, UConn).
There were other players who didn’t make it that far, but still earned a tournament berth: Mitchell Kilkenny (Compensation pick, Texas A&M), Ryan Feltner (4th) and Jacob Barnwell (22nd) both of Ohio State, Coco Montes (16th, South Florida), and Miguel Ausua (29th, Oral Roberts).
The point: the Rockies drafted a lot of college players, and a lot of those college players played for really good teams and could still be playing. But there are a few who still are playing so if you’ve never watched the College World Series Super Regionals, you now have a rooting interest! Here’s how you can watch them.
Terrin Vavra (3rd round), SS Minnesota
Game 1: at Oregon State, Friday 3:00 pm MT, ESPN2
The Golden Gophers hosted a regional and came out undefeated, knocking out UCLA in the final. Their reward? Travel to the no. 3 overall seed to try to get to Omaha. Vavra was Minnesota’s (the no. 14 overall seed) best hitter all season, hitting .393/.463/.631 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI, all team highs. He’ll need to hit to make it past OSU’s vaunted pitching staff. The Beavers also had two position players drafted in the first round (Nick Madrigal, fourth overall; Trevor Larnach, 20th), so needless to say Minnesota, the first BIG 10 team to make it to the supers since 2014, will be the underdogs. And who doesn’t love an underdog?
Oh, and if you wanted another reason to pull for Minnesota, they are one of two Super Regional teams to win APR (academic) awards.
Andrew Quezada (7th round), RHP Cal State Fullerton
Willie MacIver (9th round), C Washington
Game 1: at CSU Fullerton, Friday 12:00 pm MT, ESPN2
Wouldn’t you know it, the Rockies are guaranteed to have at least one draftee make it to Omaha. Fullerton and Washington were both the no. 3 seeds in their Regionals, which means neither of them were supposed to be here. Fullerton has the pedigree (19 CWS appearances and four national championships) and Washington has the drive (playing in their first ever Super Regional).
Quezada made 14 starts this season, throwing 83 innings with a 3.90 ERA and a 58:19 K/BB ratio. If a Game 3 is necessary on Sunday at 7:00 pm MT, Quezada will likely get the ball.
Though MacIver was drafted as a catcher, he’ll play third base for Washington this weekend. He missed 21 games this year due to a hamate bone break and he finished with just a .246/.336/.331 line with two home runs and three stolen bases.
Kyle Datres (12th round), 3B North Carolina
Game 1: vs. Stetson, Friday 9:00 am MT, ESPN2
The first game of the Super Regionals features another matchup of two ranked teams. Stetson (Alma mater of Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom) is the no. 11 overall seed playing in their first ever Super Regional. North Carolina, on the other hand, is the no. 6 overall seed and is trying to make it to their eleventh College World Series. However, Stetson has the pitching, including 14th overall pick Logan Gilbert.
Datres started every game for the Tar Heels this season, slashing .343/.438/.504 with six home runs and 12 stolen bases. Fun fact: he plays with Bo Weiss of Castle Rock, son of former Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
Hunter Stoval (21st round), 2B Mississippi State
Game 1: at Vanderbilt, 6:00 pm MT, ESPN2
In one of the three All-SEC Super Regionals, Mississippi State travels to Nashville to face off against the Vanderbilt Commodores, who swept them in three home games earlier this season. They’ll have to turn the tide in order to make it back to Omaha for the tenth time.
Stoval played in all 61 of the Bulldogs’ games in 2018 and hit .315/.362/.430 with two home runs, ten stolen bases, and 39 RBI. There is a chance he returns to school for his senior season, but maybe he’ll forgo that option if Mississippi State advances.
Game 1: Auburn at no. 1 Florida, Saturday 10:00 am MT, ESPN
Game 1: Duke at no. 9 Texas Tech, Saturday 1:00 pm MT, ESPNU
Game 1: Tennessee Tech at no. 13 Texas, Saturday 1:00 pm MT, ESPN2
Game 1: South Carolina at no. 5 Arkansas, Saturday 4:30 pm MT, ESPN2