Great pitching still beats great hitting in my mind, and that is the exact dynamic that this College World Series has. The South Carolina Gamecocks and their dominant pitching will overcome the Arizona Wildcats and their potent offense.
The Gamecocks simply have too many shut-down arms, and that is the key here.
If they were a top-heavy pitching staff with a horse or two at the top of the rotation and a notable closer who anchored the bullpen, then there would be cracks. But that isn't the case. This is a remarkably complete staff.
Michael Roth is the ace at 9-1 with a 2.49 ERA. But the Gamecocks also have Colby Holmes, who is 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA.
The bullpen is anchored by Matt Price and Tyler Webb. Price leads the team with 13 saves, Webb has a 1.58 ERA and both average at least a K per inning pitched. Their styles are a contrast from the starters, who generally don't have overpowering stuff, as they depend on location.
That contrast can be baffling to hitters, even to a lineup as stout as Arizona's.
How many runs will the Wildcats score per game?
The Wildcats are truly impressive with the bats. They are lead by Pac-12 Player of the Year, Alex Mejia, but as a team, they have a .330 batting average, and they score over seven runs per game.
Those stats are nothing to sneeze at, but what they don't have is an abundance of power. They'll need to string hits together, draw walks and be active on the basepaths. No Wildcat has more than seven long balls this season.
Without the ability to put a crooked number on the board with power, the Wildcats will find the going too tough against South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have augmented their great pitching with timely hitting and solid defense. Only Joey Pankake has double-figure errors on the season.
The Gamecocks will grab their third consecutive College World Series title in two games.
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