College World Series 2013: Top Performers to Watch This Weekend
The final eight teams have been set for the 2013 College World Series, as the weak have been weeded out and only the elite remain. With the eight remaining teams all aiming for their goal of striking gold, the stars are preparing to come out in full force.
The question is, who are the top performers to watch during this weekend's action?
On the top half of the bracket, the No. 3 Oregon State Beavers take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Indiana Hoosiers will play the Louisville Cardinals. On the bottom half, the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels will play the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the No. 4 LSU Tigers will battle the UCLA Bruins.
Each team has their fair share of star performers, but who are the players that truly deserve the praise as the top remaining performers?
Andrew Moore, SP, Oregon State Beavers
One of the stars of the 2013 college baseball season is Oregon State freshman pitcher Andrew Moore. He was named a second team All-American after dominating the nation with no signs of a learning curve.
Moore is 14-1 with an ERA of 1.36.
Moore currently leads the nation in victories and is ninth in ERA, which comes in an average of 7.0 innings pitched per game. In other words, this freshman is going deep into games and holding teams in check.
That's a primary reason the Beavers are still alive at the College Baseball World Series.
Moore isn't the most powerful pitcher and he won't record a high number of strikeouts, but he's excellent at managing in-game situations. As the Beavers work their way towards their end goal, Moore will be the player they turn to in big-game situations.
Keep an eye on him, as Moore could take the MLB by storm in the near future.
Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina Tar Heels
The North Carolina Tar Heels are the top ranked team in the nation, which suggests that they're flush with stars. When it comes right down to it, the Tar Heels will only go as far as their third baseman takes them.
Fortunately, Colin Moran was the sixth overall draft choice in the 2013 MLB draft—in other words, he can play.
Moran is hitting .343 with 13 home runs and an NCAA Division I best 88 RBI. While there may be quality players throughout UNC's batting lineup, it's Moran that can hit for average and drive in runs at an elite clip.
For that reason, he's the player to watch.
The Miami Marlins took Moran for a reason, as his ability to hit is on par with the best and his fielding is of a high quality. Matched up against the rival North Carolina State Wolfpack, the Tar Heels are going to need every ounce of that ability.
Expect Moran to come through.
Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana Hoosiers
The Indiana Hoosiers completed their improbable run to the College World Series by upsetting the Florida State Seminoles in two high-scoring affairs. While the Hoosiers may have quality pitchers, they've made it this far by way of their ability to hit the ball.
No player is as proficient in that regard as catcher Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber is currently third in the nation with 18 home runs, including a two-run shot that he hit in Indiana's most recent game. In fact, in Indiana's two games against the Seminoles, Schwarber went 3-for-6 with one home run and four RBI.
That brings him to 18 home runs and 54 RBI on the season.
With Schwarber's ability to wield the bat, the Hoosiers have a legitimate middle-of-the-lineup star. While no one wants to pitch to Indiana, the fact that Schwarber is in the lineup maximizes the power of this squad.
If you're looking for home runs and RBI, Schwarber is your source.
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