The 2016 College World Series continues Tuesday with two games in Bracket 2, as top-seeded Florida takes on Texas Tech, followed by a showdown between TCU and Coastal Carolina.
Florida and Texas Tech are both facing elimination with one loss apiece, whereas the unseeded upstarts in the second contest both have a game in hand. The Horned Frogs defeated the Red Raiders in their last outing, 5-3, while Coastal Carolina pulled a big upset over the Gators by a score of 2-1 on Sunday.
Below is a quick glance at the schedule and start times for Tuesday's slate, followed by predictions as to how the action in Omaha will play out.
|2016 College World Series Schedule: Tuesday, June 21|
|Time (ET)||Matchup||TV||Live Stream|
|5 p.m.||Florida (1) vs. Texas Tech (5)||ESPN2||Watch ESPN|
|9 p.m.||Coastal Carolina vs. TCU||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
Florida vs. Texas Tech
As if the Gators weren't already dealing with enough pressure entering the College World Series as big favorites, Florida's stumble against Coastal Carolina has intensified the scrutiny.
Prior to Sunday's defeat, SEC Network's Brandon Zimmerman highlighted just how favorably perceived the Gators were:
Although Florida already exhausted its ace, Logan Shore, in the CWS opener, it does have a magnificent pitching rotation that should aid Tuesday's bounce-back effort.
Sophomore Alex Faedo will be on the bump for the Gators, per OnlyGators.com's Adam Silverstein, who also noted how the team has made the College World Series in five of the last seven years but has yet to deliver a national title.
Faedo has posted a 13-2 record this season with a 3.25 ERA (h/t D1Baseball.com) and needs a stellar outing to ensure Florida isn't abruptly eliminated from the tournament.
The Red Raiders have to deal with their own difficult circumstances. They were beating TCU 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth inning before surrendering three runs on a homer by Luken Baker.
Fresh off that heartbreak, Texas Tech has a quick turnaround to prepare for arguably its toughest adversary to date. Its lineup struggled to produce versus the Horned Frogs, and it's also a bit of a red flag that the Red Raiders' team ERA is 4.15.
With the season at stake and a prospective premature exit looming, look for Faedo to pitch a gem and keep the Gators alive.
Prediction: Florida 8, Texas Tech 2
TCU vs. Coastal Carolina
In their maiden College World Series appearance, the Chanticleers made quite a first impression in knocking off Florida.
While that landmark triumph has to have Coastal Carolina riding high, it could lead to a letdown against a foe making its third straight appearance in Omaha. The Horned Frogs have recent history and experience on their side, which were evident assets down the stretch in the Texas Tech game.
Perhaps most impressive about Baker's heroics was the fact that the freshman had a good perspective on his winning dinger following the aforementioned win over the Red Raiders.
"Whenever that stuff happens, it's awesome. But it happened. We have another game in two days, so we have to get locked in again," said Baker, per Carlos Mendez of the Star-Telegram.
That attitude may well foreshadow how Tuesday's game will play out. Credit goes to Coastal Carolina for its brilliant run to this juncture of the College World Series, but it's hard to look past the long-running disparity between the two programs.
While the Chants could use the exterior doubters as effective motivation and shock the college baseball world once again, coach Jim Schlossnagle's TCU bunch seems too collectively strong to let that happen.
Between exceptional defense and an added element of power to the lineup—as opposed to last year's predominantly small-ball approach—the Horned Frogs have all the tools to claim glory in Omaha.
Prediction: TCU 7, Coastal Carolina 3
Stats and game information courtesy of NCAA.com unless otherwise indicated.