College World Series 2016: TV, Live-Stream Schedule and Saturday Predictions

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJune 25, 2016

Oklahoma State starting pitcher Thomas Hatch (45) works against UC Santa Barbara in the first inning of an NCAA men's College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Associated Press

No matter which two teams survive Saturday's elimination showdowns, the 2016 College World Series will host two improbable finalists.

The wild NCAA tournament hasn't settled down in Omaha, Nebraska, where the only three seeded teams remaining (the No. 1 Florida Gators, No. 3 Miami Hurricanes and No. 5 Texas Tech Red Raiders) got ousted with one win between them.

On Friday night, the Arizona Wildcats and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers fended off elimination by beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs, respectively. Since all four teams are saddled with one loss, Saturday will feature two rematches.

Before the two victors commence a best-of-three championship series Monday, here's a look at both of Saturday's win-or-go-home contests:

College World Series: Saturday, June 25
Time (ET)MatchupTVLive StreamPrediction
3 p.m.Arizona vs. Oklahoma StateESPN2WatchESPN3-2, UA
8 p.m.Coastal Carolina vs. TCUESPNWatchESPN6-4, CCU
NCAA.com; Author's Predictions

Arizona vs. Oklahoma State

Ted Kirk/Associated Press

Having split their first two meetings in Omaha, Arizona and Oklahoma State will settle the score in Saturday's rubber match.

On Monday, Oklahoma State overcame a gem from Bobby Dalbec to win a 1-0 pitchers' duel behind Tyler Buffett. While the Cowboys again failed to muster much offense in Friday's rematch—generating four hits—the Wildcats scored nine times on 19 hits.

Despite the six-run defeat, Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday can take comfort in turning to his ace. Per the team's official Twitter account, he declared Saturday's starter after watching his team suffer its first loss of the tournament:

Cowboy Baseball @OSUBaseball

"Thomas Hatch is going to start for us tomorrow on full rest and we feel good about that." https://t.co/D0svcT9QPz

Thomas Hatch holds a 1.89 ERA through 18 starts, and he hasn't allowed a run in three June starts. Over that dominant stretch, the right-handed sophomore has collected 20 strikeouts over 23 scoreless frames.

Per the Tulsa World's Eric Bailey, Holliday expressed confidence in the red-hot hurler's ability to halt Arizona's offensive surge:

Eric Bailey @EricBaileyTW

Holliday on Thomas Hatch: "What they say in baseball: Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher. We've got a pretty good one." #OkState

Arizona's pitching may prove to be a tougher riddle to solve. The Wildcats have allowed five runs in four College World Series contests, and they can counter with a stud who has already stymied the Cowboys this week.

Dalbec is positioned to take the hill again Saturday. The junior, who pulls double duty as a third baseman, accumulated 12 strikeouts during Monday's outing. He has a 2.76 ERA this year.

Friday's loss means little with an ace going Saturday. Expect the Cowboys to bounce back from a blowout and claim a low-scoring victory behind Hatch.

Prediction: Oklahoma State wins, 3-2.

Coastal Carolina vs. TCU

Ted Kirk/Associated Press

Coastal Carolina has orchestrated an improbable run behind the strength of its hulking hitters. The team is now one win away from the finals in spite of its bats cooling down in Omaha.

Despite averaging 7.2 runs per game this year, the Chanticleers have registered only 14 runs in four College World Series games. They accrued half of those runs Thursday with the help of three Texas Tech errors. Two days earlier, they crossed home plate once against TCU.

They fared better in Friday's rematch, making the most of their four hits to tally as many runs. Ace Andrew Beckwith also presented another gem to offset the offensive inconsistency. The junior has fueled two victories by going the distance and allowing one run in each start.

Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Coastal Carolina exceeded expectations by making it this far, but head coach Gary Gilmore would not be not content with the ride ending this weekend.

"A lot of people thought we just wanted to come out here [to Omaha]," he said, per ESPN.com's Ryan McGee. "I think they've shown they want to stay out here."

Also searching for its first national title, TCU brandished offensive firepower before facing Beckwith on Friday night. Luken Baker guided the Horned Frogs to two quick victories by homering in each game, including a game-winning blast in the ninth inning Sunday.

The big designated hitter went hitless Friday, ending a sizzling streak ESPN Stats & Info noted beforehand:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Luken Baker (TCU) HR. He has a hit in each of his last 13 gms & has hit more HR (7) in that span than in the first 52 gms of the season (4)

Four Chanticleers have hit at least 15 homers this year, but the Horned Frogs need Baker to trigger their offense. Coastal Carolina wields too many potent bats to stay stagnant, so look for a well-timed rebound to cement a championship bid.

Prediction: Coastal Carolina wins, 6-4.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.