College World Series 2013: Players Who Will Step Up, Save Team from Elimination

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College World Series 2013: Players Who Will Step Up, Save Team from Elimination
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year. Summer is upon us, the weather is warm, the sun is out and two teams face elimination in the 2013 College World Series. LSU and North Carolina square off in Omaha, but only one will advance. Here are some guys to keep an eye on out there.

When looking at the losses for these teams, something sticks out. When UNC and LSU lose, they generally score three runs or less. Now that might seem rudimentary, but these teams lost a combined 21 times all year. So it’s easier said than done.

Which leads us to two guys whose names will be all over this game: the starting pitchers. UNC’s Tyler Thornton is a super freshman, and LSU’s Cody Glenn has been superb this season.

Thornton has been absolutely dominant in 2013. He's posting a 1.29 ERA with a 5.2 strikeout to walk ratio and a microscopic .89 WHIP.

Glenn is no slouch either. He carries around a 2.41 ERA and has walked only 16 guys all year. Since both these teams’ offenses are susceptible to quality pitching, look for these two young studs to have great games and keep the score low.

With runs looking like they’ll be at a premium, the offenses will be under pressure to come through. LSU and UNC have notable sluggers in Mason Katz and Colin Moran respectively, but they can’t carry the offense all on their own.

That’s where their teammates come in, and they both have some very notable ones.

LSU’s Alex Bregman is a Golden Spikes semifinalist with Katz, and for good reason. The freshman is tied for third in the nation in hits and second on the team in RBIs and home runs.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor
The freshman infielder Bregman's bat will be a huge factor in today's elimination game against UNC

The Tar Heels' Cody Stubbs has looked just as good, hitting .362 to go along with seven homers, 72 RBIs and a .579 slugging percent.

The other thing these guys have in common, besides their gaudy stats, is that they both came up short in their teams losses on Sunday. They combined for one hit, no walks and three strikeouts in seven at bats.

These guys are too good to let their teams down again, and both will be hell for the pitchers on the mound. They will find a way to break through today, mark these words.

 

*All individual statistics , unless otherwise noted, came from either LSU's official baseball page, or UNC's official baseball page

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