After taking Game 1 of the College World Series over Coastal Carolina, Arizona enters Tuesday's Game 2 just one win away from claiming its fifth College World Series title in school history.
The Wildcats shut down the Chanticleers with a four-hit shutout in Game 1, but now that Coastal Carolina's back is against the wall, it can't afford a similar performance. Breaking through against a deep and talented Arizona pitching staff will be a significant challenge, though.
Prior to a potential series-clinching Game 2, here is everything you need to know about when and where to watch the tilt, along with predictions for how it will play out.
Where: TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska
When: Tuesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. ET
Coastal Carolina Player to Watch: Zach Remillard
Coastal Carolina's lineup is stacked with talented offensive players capable of getting on base and hitting the ball out of the park, but perhaps nobody has been more vital to the team's success than third baseman Zach Remillard.
The senior has put up a gaudy .346 batting average to go along with a team-leading 19 home runs and 72 RBI.
That production has largely carried over to the College World Series with timely hits, including this one, courtesy of NCAA Baseball, which helped knock top-seeded Florida out of the tournament:
The 10th-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox has been excellent in the field as well and made this difficult catch while the Chanticleers were trailing the Wildcats 1-0 in Game 1:
Remillard had one of Coastal Carolina's four hits in Game 1 of the College World Series, but it will need much more out of him in Game 2 in order to avoid elimination.
Although other power bats such as Connor Owings, G.K. Young and Michael Paez need to chip in as well, Remillard is the unquestioned leader and lifeblood of the team.
If he can get things going early and his teammates can get on base in front of him, then the Chanticleers have more than enough talent to pour it on and force a decisive Game 3.
Arizona Player to Watch: Ryan Aguilar
While the Wildcats are no match for Coastal Carolina when it comes to pure power, first baseman Ryan Aguilar is a microcosm of the Wildcats lineup and its ability to make life miserable for opposing pitchers.
Aguilar leads the team with eight homers and 55 RBI to go along with a .308 batting average, and he is coming off a big Game 1 after going 2-for-4 and driving in two of the Wildcats' three runs en route to victory.
As seen in the following tweet, Aguilar was locked in against the Chanticleers and used the entire field to his advantage:
The senior draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers is dangerous with men on base, and Coastal Carolina found that out in Game 1.
Arizona is unlikely to win games by smacking the ball out of the park with regularity as the Chanticleers so often do, but it is relentless and does the little things well, such as drawing walks, bunting and taking the extra base.
Aguilar is by far the Wildcats' top run producer, and if he is in ideal form Tuesday like he was in Game 1, then Arizona is likely to celebrate its second College World Series championship in five years.
Game 2 Prediction
Coastal Carolina's bats were silenced in Game 1, but the Chanticleers are more than capable of beating any team on any given night due to the fact that they can score runs in a hurry once the momentum starts to roll.
Arizona doesn't represent a particularly good matchup for them, though, since it is among the top pitching teams in the nation and doesn't make many mistakes.
Coastal Carolina had limited opportunities to do damage in Game 1 with nobody reaching second base until the final inning, and it can't afford to struggle that badly at the plate again in Game 2.
While timely hitting is important, games of this magnitude often come down to pitching and defense, and the Wildcats undoubtedly have a major edge in those key areas.
Coastal Carolina's chances can't be discounted since it has overcome a ton of adversity against favored teams to get to this point, but with Arizona on the precipice of greatness, it will close out the series Tuesday with a dramatic 4-3 victory.
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