College World Series 2012: Stars to Watch When UCLA Battles Florida State

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2012

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 28:  Starting pitcher Blake Cooper #27 of the South Carolina Gamecocks pitches against Jeff Gelalich #20 of the UCLA Bruins during Game 1 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 28, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Gamecocks defeated the Bruins 7-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the ninth game of the College World Series Tuesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. ET, it is time to break down which stars will shine during the UCLA vs. Florida State battle.

Each team has a plethora of talented young players; which is why these teams have made it this far to begin with. Certain stars will have to step up bigger than the rest, though.

All of the following college athletes will be on display on Tuesday, but only an elite few will be able to shine. If you are rooting for UCLA, you have to be liking your chances.

Jeff Gelalich, OF, UCLA

The biggest star coming into Game 9 is also the biggest star left in the tournament period: UCLA outfielder Jeff Gelalich.

For as good as the Bruins’ slugger was during the season, he has bucked the trend of big names shutting down in the postseason and has managed a .327 batting average (17-for-52) with three home runs, three doubles, eight RBI and nine runs.

That’s pretty damn impressive!

Add his red-hot bat to Gelalich’s stellar fielding abilities and you have the perfect utility player that will be the difference in this matchup.

Devon Travis, 2B, FSU

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Infielder Devon Travis #8 of  the Florida State Seminoles bats against the Philadelphia Phillies February 24, 2011 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

While the Florida State Seminoles are playing a much tougher UCLA Bruins team, there is a good chance FSU can win because of the potent bat of second baseman Devon Travis.

With the ability to play anywhere on the infield and hit as a leadoff man all the way through the cleanup spot, Travis offers the hitting consistency that made him a second team preseason All-American.

If FSU wants to upset the favorite Bruins, they need Travis to continue hitting the ball hard like he did during the team’s 12-2 win over Stony Brook, where the stellar infielder put one in the seats and looked amazing doing so.

Beau Amaral, OF, UCLA

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 29:  Evan Marzilli #31 of the South Carolina Gamecocks sits in the dugout before game 2 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series against the UCLA Bruins at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Gamecocks
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For those fans just tuning into the College Baseball World Series, you may not know who Beau Amaral is. This is a guy who is posting a .327 career batting average in 122 games, and has been one of the Bruins main stars for two seasons.

While Amaral may be well known for his wheels in center field, it has been his ability to get the bat on the ball consistently that has made him such a hot commodity.

Two hits, an RBI and a run in the previous game against Stony Brook is good for any player, but the UCLA star proved he is consistent enough to be the difference maker in this tournament.