College World Series 2013: Game-Changers to Watch in Monday's Matchups

David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 17, 2013

Jun 15, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; Oregon State Beavers catcher Jake Rodriguez (13) misses the ball as Mississippi State Bulldogs runner Hunter Renfroe (34) scores in the eighth inning during the College World Series game at TD Ameritrade Park. Mississippi State won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State and Indiana will compete in the 2013 College World Series to stay in the winner’s bracket after Louisville and Oregon State fight to stay alive.

The Cardinals face off against the Beavers at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, June 17. At 8 p.m. that evening, the Bulldogs will take on the Hoosiers. Here are the greatest game-changers to watch in these showdowns.


3. LF Michael Conforto, Oregon State

The Beavers nearly defeated Mississippi State on Saturday night on the back of Conforto. The outfielder stepped to the plate five times and finished the contest with four hits and one walk. He also recorded an RBI and run in the 5-4 loss.

For the season, Conforto has a batting average of .332, 11 home runs and 46 RBI.


2. C Kyle Schwarber, Indiana

The 6’0”, 235-pound Schwarber’s bat packs a punch. He’s tied for third in college baseball this season with 18 home runs.

Many batters who hit as many bombs as Schwarber aggressively swing for the fences, sacrificing contact and racking up strikeouts as a result. The Hoosiers catcher isn’t one of those batters. He boasts a batting average of .376 in 2013.

Schwarber recorded a team-high two hits in Indiana’s 2-0 win over Louisville on Saturday night.


1. RF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State

Batters who are dominant hitting for power as well as contact are rare, but two will play in the same game.

Like Schwarber, Renfroe is a home run threat every time he steps to the plate. He hit 15 long balls this season. Also like his Hoosier opponent, Renfroe knows how to get on base, hitting .358 in 2013.

Against Oregon State on Saturday, he finished with one hit and crossed the plate to score the game-winning run in the eighth inning of a 5-4 victory. It’s no wonder why the San Diego Padres selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft.


David Daniels is a breaking-news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.