College Baseball World Series Bracket 2013: Teams Bound for Loser's Bracket

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJune 14, 2013

June 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  UCLA Bruins pitcher Adam Plutko (9) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Los Angeles super regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

By the end of Sunday night, there will be four teams just a loss from getting ousted from the 2013 College World Series.

But which four teams are bound to end up in the loser’s bracket?

There are four great matchups over the course of the weekend and some are a little easier to predict than others. Pitching is going to be essential in each of the opening-round games and a strong performance on the mound could be the difference between ending up in the winner’s bracket instead of the loser’s bracket.

So, which teams are already the underdogs before the weekend is even here? Let’s take a look at a pair of teams that don’t have much of a chance to win their Omaha opener, while analyzing the matchup and showing the weakness of those bound for the loser’s bracket.

Bracket 1 Schedule

Game Date Time (ET) CWS Team CWS Team
1 Saturday, June 15 3 p.m. Mississippi St. Oregon St.
2 Saturday, June 15 8 p.m. Indiana Louisville
3 Monday, June 17 3 p.m. Game 1 Loser Game 2 Loser
4 Monday, June 17 8 p.m. Game 1 Winner Game 2 Winner
5 Wednesday, June 19 8 p.m. Game 3 Winner Game 4 Loser
6 Friday, June 21 3 p.m. Game 4 Winner Game 5 Winner
7 *Saturday, June 22 3 p.m. Game 6 Winner Game 6 Loser
*If necessary 

Bracket 2 Schedule

Game Date Time (ET) CWS Team CWS Team
1 Sunday, June 16 3 p.m. North Carolina NC State
2 Sunday, June 16 8 p.m. UCLA LSU
3 Tuesday, June 18 3 p.m. Game 1 Loser Game 2 Loser
4 Tuesday, June 18 8 p.m. Game 1 Winner Game 2 Winner
5 Thursday, June 20 8 p.m. Game 3 Winner Game 4 Loser
6 Friday, June 21 8 p.m. Game 4 Winner Game 5 Winner
7 *Saturday, June 22 8:30 p.m. Game 6 Winner Game 6 Loser
*If necessary 

UCLA Bruins

Game Information: Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. vs. LSU Tigers

The thing about UCLA in its Sunday matchup against LSU is that the Bruins are major, major underdogs. LSU is arguably the most dangerous team in Omaha, and it’s going to take quite the effort from the Bruinsin order to send them to the loser’s bracket.

The game is bound to be a pitchers duel as each team’s ace is expected to be on the mound. LSU will be sending right-hander Aaron Nola to the mound, who is undefeated on the season with 12 wins, a 1.68 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 118 innings. He’ll likely oppose Adam Plutko, who’s 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 111 innings of work.

Both starting pitchers have outstanding control and rarely allow a free pass. Opponents tend to have a very difficult time getting on base, which means that this game is likely to be fairly low scoring and it may only take a run or two to advance into the winner’s bracket.

But baseball is a game of numbers, and if that statement rings true on Sunday night, LSU should come out on top. Here’s a brief look at why that’ll be the case.

UCLA is a team that’s built on solid pitching. The Bruins aren’t very good hitters at all. They only have 19 home runs through 61 games this season and not one batter has an average over .280. UCLA has outscored its opponents by 101 runs this year, which isn’t very much for a team with a chance to win the College World Series.

While UCLA has managed to get this far in the postseason, I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to score a run off of Nola and the Tigers’ pitching staff. LSU is much too strong on the mound for the Tigers to drop a game to the Bruins. Plutko could pitch his heart out, but UCLA could end up losing 1-0.

The Bruins are in a tough spot, having to play the best team in Omaha in the opener, and a loss is inevitable.  

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Game Information: Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. ET vs. Oregon State Beavers

Mississippi State has to play the top seed in its bracket, No. 3 Oregon State, in what will be the very first game played in Omaha at the College World Series this year. The Bulldogs have an uphill battle to say the least.

Mississippi State has a couple of pitchers that it throws out on the mound to start the game and it appears that Kendall Graveman might get the ball against Oregon State. Graveman has started more games and logged more innings than any other pitcher on the team. He’s 7-5 on the year with a 3.14 ERA in 103.1 innings of work.

Below is a look at how many earned runs he’s allowed throughout the season, and you should be able to tell that there has been a trend forming.

It’s clear that as the season has gone on, Graveman has been allowing more earned runs per start. He wasn’t great his last time out against Virginia, allowing four earned runs (six total) in 5.1 innings. Mississippi State had to beat Virginia the next day in order to make it to Omaha.

With a couple of days to relax and get prepared for Oregon State, it’ll be interesting to see how Graveman performs. In my opinion, he’ll probably have a so-so outing, allowing around three or four runs in five-plus innings while striking out three and walking three. It won’t be his best, that’s something to keep in mind.

Oregon State scores about six runs per game, which won’t be easy for Graveman to stop. The Beavers have six batters hitting at least .300 this season and while there aren’t many power hitters in the lineup, Oregon State continues to get the job done.

Mississippi State will probably be able to hit with Oregon State, but the pitching matchup will likely favor the Beavers. At the end of the day, Mississippi State will be bounced to the loser’s bracket and just one loss away from heading home.


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