College World Series 2013: Highlighting Top Stars in Omaha
While we're still awaiting the rest of the contenders for the 2013 College World Series, we do know that some of the top stars will be representing LSU and UCLA in Omaha.
Both clubs' dominance was on display as the Bruins and Tigers each cruised to 2-0 series sweeps in route to the next round of the premier tournament in college baseball.
Let's highlight three players who are sure to shine from LSU and UCLA in the next round of the 2013 College World Series.
Mason Katz, 1B, LSU
Not only has Mason Katz been a standout first baseman for the LSU Tigers this season, but he can now officially call himself a member of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, via KSLA News.
Katz has been baffling opposing pitchers for the entire season, hitting .378 with 68 RBI, 15 HR and 52 runs scored. St. Louis will be getting somewhat of a versatile fielder in Katz, who played five different positions for LSU during his career, according to Randy Rosetta of NOLA.com.
Despite going 0-for-5 in the Tigers' clinching game on Friday vs. Oklahoma, LSU fans shouldn't worry. Katz has been one of the most consistent hitters in college baseball this season and is set on winning a national championship (h/t CST).
The senior infielder has been extremely durable and reliable for LSU during his career, and that will continue as he attempts to lead the Tigers to a World Series championship.
David Berg, RP, UCLA
UCLA relief pitcher David Berg has pretty much been the Mariano Rivera of college closers this season.
Entering Saturday, the 2013 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year had posted 20 saves (No. 3 in D-I baseball) and accumulated a minuscule 0.90 ERA, which ranks second in all of Division I. In a total of 70 innings pitched, the right-hander surrendered a mere seven runs to opposing hitters.
It certainly was a historical season for Berg (h/t UCLA Twitter).
Big congrats to sophomore David Berg, who tied the all-time UCLA record for most career saves tonight, notching his 21st career save.— UCLA Baseball (@UCLABaseball) June 2, 2013
The sophomore was instrumental in UCLA's 3-0 win over Cal State Fullerton that sent the Bruins to Omaha, pitching 1.1 innings and closing out the win.
Relief pitching may not be the flashiest position in baseball, but it sure is important.
If the Bruins hold a lead late into the game, you can all but guarantee Berg will shut the door for UCLA.
Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
If LSU is going to win the 2013 College World Series, it's going to be largely on the right arm of sophomore Aaron Nola.
With a last name so fitting for where he's spent the past two seasons, Nola has been absolutely brilliant this season. The righty is 12-0, posting a total of 117 strikeouts in 118 innings of work to go with a 1.68 ERA.
Perhaps Nola's manager Paul Mainieri said it the best (via WAFB Louisiana's Jacques Doucet).
The District VII Player of the Year certainly lived up to the award in LSU's 2-0 victory over Oklahoma on June 6, tossing a two-hit complete game shutout to go with six Ks.
In a tournament where premier pitching is crucial, the Tigers undoubtedly have the upper hand with a stud like Nola taking the bump.
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