Sixteen teams survived the regionals to take a step closer to capturing the College World Series crown. A long road still lies ahead, though, starting with the super regionals.
After advancing beyond a double-elimination quadrant, the remaining schools will pair up in best-of-three showdowns. The winners will punch a ticket to Omaha, Nebraska, where they must circumvent another four-team bracket to earn a spot in the championship.
While many powerhouses navigated the first stage, prominent contenders—most notably Stanford, Clemson, Ole Miss and Georgia—suffered an early exit. At least one No. 3 regional seed will advance to the final eight, as two underdogs meet in an unlikely super-regional showing.
Here's a look this round's schedule with predictions for each series. The full tournament bracket is available on NCAA.com.
College Baseball World Series: Super Regionals
Auburn vs. Florida (Prediction: Florida)
Texas Tech vs. Duke (Prediction: Texas Tech)
Arkansas vs. South Carolina (Prediction: Arkansas)
Texas vs. Tennessee Tech (Prediction: Tennessee Tech)
Washington vs. Cal State Fullerton (Prediction: Cal State Fullerton)
Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State (Prediction: Vanderbilt)
Stetson vs. North Carolina (Prediction: Stetson)
Minnesota vs. Oregon State (Prediction: Minnesota)
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Washington vs. Cal State Fullerton
Cal State Fullerton stunning hosts Stanford to reach the super regionals should sound familiar. It also happened last year.
Yet this repeated outcome was anything but expected. After getting swept by a scorned Stanford to start the season, the Titans spent all year trying to repair a 1-7 opening. They exited March with a 10-15 record before winning 17 of their next 22 games.
Per the team's Twitter page, freshman outfielder Ruben Cardenas described the team's confidence in the face of adversity:
Despite collecting just four hits, the Titans sent the national No. 2 seed packing with a 5-2 victory on Sunday night. They have now won eight of their last nine games and allowed just five runs in three regional bouts.
Their seeding and 35-23 record depicts an underdog, but this marks the program's 14th trip to the super regionals. Unlike last year, when they upset Long Beach State on the road, the Titans will receive home-field advantage against Washington, who has never reached this stage.
The Huskies slugged their way through Conway, South Carolina, by registering 27 runs in three regional victories. After clobbering a home run in each contest, junior Joe Wainhouse enters the series sporting a .614 slugging percentage. He has accrued more long balls than Cal State's entire lineup combined.
The 6'6" lefty has also tallied nearly half of Washington's 36 homers, so everything must keep coming up Wainhouse for the offense to stay hot.
With the offense likely to regress, the 33-23 squad must rely more on its pitching staff, particularly Joe DeMers. After allowing one run over eight innings in Friday's regional opener against UConn, the junior massaged his ERA to 2.46.
By countering with Colton Eastman and Tommy Wilson, Cal State should leverage its unexpected home-field edge into another College World Series appearance.
Prediction: Cal State Fullerton in three
Minnesota vs. Oregon State
Neither Oregon State nor Minnesota will be happy to run into the other this early.
Led by second baseman Nick Madrigal—drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago White Sox on Monday night—the Beavers are collectively hitting .319/.416/.488. Their pitching staff boasts a 3.31 staff ERA with 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
The national No. 3 seed flexed its muscles by winning all three regional contests by a thunderous 35-4 margin. Yet just like last year, when the team suffered a bracket-play elimination by LSU, Oregon State faces a formidable foe on the road to Omaha.
The 44-13 Golden Gophers have not lost a game since May 11. Going beyond their active 12-game winning streak, they have triumphed in 28 of their last 31 bouts. Not bad for the No. 13 seed.
Minnesota can't match Oregon State's power, but the school wields a .393 team on-base percentage. Shortstop Terrin Vavra, leading the way with a .393/.463/.631 slash line in his junior campaign, expressed no intimidation of his upcoming opponent.
"Bring 'em on," he told the Star Tribune's Randy Johnson. "We know we're capable of beating anyone in the country."
Despite scoring double-digit runs in two of three regional victories, Minnesota's truest advantage stems from the bullpen, where Max Meyer, Jeff Fasching, Jackson Rose and Brett Schulze cumulatively possess a 1.83 ERA. The unit can facilitate a road upset by halting high-scoring affairs in the late innings.
An unlucky draw sends Oregon State home early again, as Minnesota makes its first trip to Omaha in John Anderson's 35-year coaching tenure.
Prediction: Minnesota in three