CWS 2013: Players Who Impressed the Most in Tournament

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2013

Jun 8, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack pitcher Carlos Rodon delivers a pitch against the Rice Owls during the Raleigh super regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Doak Field. North Carolina State defeated Rice 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

With the College World Series reaching its final stage, it's an appropriate time to look at some of the players who managed to dazzle fans the most.

Although the UCLA Bruins and Mississippi State Bulldogs are the only teams left, there were plenty of players from other teams who did everything in their power to ensure their team's survival.

The beauty of baseball is that it's a true team game. You can't rely on just a few stars in order to win. Batters only get three or four chances to impact a game, and starting pitchers can only go every few days.

You need to have a complete team to win. Every player needs to do his job.

Here are three players who have gone above and beyond their respective jobs.

David Berg, UCLA

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Closers can often be overvalued. After all, they only pitch an inning or two, and the major leagues are full of relatively unknown relievers who go on to save 30-40 games. There are few closers who transcend the mold and prove their worth time and again.

David Berg has been one of those pitchers.

He's pitched four innings in the College World Series, giving up a run on four hits. He's largely been unstoppable, with the exception of the 4-1 win against North Carolina. Even then, Berg managed to make himself look very good.

The Tar Heels looked poised to score at least a couple of runs as they had the bases loaded. Instead, Berg surrendered a lone run and left three UNC players on base to end the game.

Mississippi State better hope to have the game decided before the eighth or ninth innings. Otherwise, it'll be time for Berg to step on the mound to protect a lead. That's bad news for the Bulldogs.

Carlos Rodon, NC State

Few players, if any, looked as good as Carlos Rodon.

He faced a high-powered North Carolina offense in NC State's first game of the CWS. The Wolfpack ace went the distance, giving up a run on five hits and striking out eight.

The Heels have hitters like Cody Stubbs, Colin Moran and Brian Holberton. Yet, Rodon blanked them.

Baseball America's Ben Badler was sold on Rodon's performance.

With the Wolfpack's survival on the line against UNC, Elliott Avent chose to throw Rodon on three days' rest. While the pitcher wasn't terrible, it was clear that he didn't have the same kind of stuff he did in the first game.

Rodon went five innings, giving up two runs and getting six strikeouts. ESPN's Keith Law wasn't happy with Avent's decision.

Rodon has been very good all season. This College World Series simply solidified him as a probable top pick in the 2014 draft.

Matt Boyd, Oregon State

As a pitcher, you don't have much of a chance when your offense only spots you one run. If your name is Matt Boyd, you don't care.

It was do-or-die for Oregon State against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Beavers went on to win, 1-0, largely on the strength of Boyd.

He pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits and striking out 11 batters. The margin for error for Boyd was razor thin, yet he continued to be dominant throughout the entire game. It was an absolute gem and couldn't have come at a more pivotal time for Oregon State.

Boyd was overshadowed a bit on the Oregon State staff by Ben Wetzler and Andrew Moore. As a result, he was selected in only the sixth round of the 2013 draft. The big winners could be the Toronto Blue Jays, who drafted him.

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