The Tennessee Volunteers stole the spotlight of the college baseball world all season long.
The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament garnered even more attention over the last few weeks because of how hard reliever Ben Joyce has thrown the ball.
Joyce broke an NCAA record with a pitch of 105.5 miles per hour in May. The right-handed reliever consistently throws in the 100 mph range, and he should be on full display during the Knoxville regional.
Joyce will have extra sets of eyes on him anytime he pitches over the next few weeks. He is one of a few players to watch in the regional round and beyond.
LSU slugger Jacob Berry could be the first college player off the board during the 2022 MLB draft. The Tigers will need a big weekend out of him at the Hattiesburg Regional to move on in the bracket. Berry has dealt with an injury recently, but he should be good to go for the weekend.
There are plenty of other MLB draft prospects who could make a name for themselves during regional weekend, one of which is looking to follow in his brother's footsteps as a first-round pick.
The full bracket and schedule for the regional round of the NCAA tournament can be found here on NCAA.com.
Players To Watch
Ben Joyce, RP, Tennessee
Ben Joyce is the most notable power arm for the best team in the country.
Joyce turned heads in May when he reached 105.5 miles per hour on the radar gun, but he is more than just a fastest pitch phenomenon.
Joyce owns a 2-1 record with a 2.51 ERA from 25 appearances. Opponents are hitting .157 against him. He allowed eight earned runs on 16 hits and struck out 47 batters.
The right-handed hurler will be called upon in pressure-packed situations throughout the Knoxville regional to ensure the No. 1 seed's top passage into the super regional round.
Tennessee drew a potentially tough No. 2 seed in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. They would face off if the two programs win their openers against the Alabama State Hornets and Campbell Camels, respectively.
Joyce may be asked to throw multiple innings of relief in either the second or third games, that way Tennessee can avoid playing any extra contests in its home stadium.
Joyce has been a must-see player whenever he steps to the mound, and he will only attract more eyeballs over the next few weeks if he continues to throw in the triple digits.
Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, LSU
Jacob Berry could be the first collegiate player chosen in the 2022 MLB draft.
Berry's draft position could come down to how much money teams want to use in their slots in the top 10 more than his individual talent compared to others.
The LSU slugger owns a 1.134 OPS with 15 home runs and 47 RBI. He has 32 home runs and 117 RBI in his career with the Tigers.
Berry missed the SEC tournament because of a broken finger, but his prognosis for regional weekend is positive.
LSU head coach Jay Johnson said that the extra week off helped Berry and other injured LSU players, per The Advocate's Leah Vann.
"The thought was not playing them last weekend was to give them a better chance to be closer to their best this weekend and that was a tough decision. In both their cases, I didn't feel good about running them out with the status that they were at. But I felt like the extra days would get us closer to where we feel great about them playing."
LSU could use Berry's bat throughout the Hattiesburg Regional to get past No. 11 seed Southern Miss, Kennesaw State and Army.
Berry's bat could be vital for the Tigers if they go head-to-head in multiple games with Southern Miss, who won 43 games in the regular season.
Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
Jace Jung could be the second member of his family chosen in the first round of the MLB draft in the last three years.
Jung's older brother, Josh, was chosen eighth overall by the Texas Rangers in the 2019 MLB draft out of Texas Tech.
The younger Jung brother can confirm his top-10 draft status with a solid NCAA tournament run with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Jung has a .340 batting average, 1.123 OPS, 14 home runs and 56 RBI this season. He could be the difference-maker in the loaded Statesboro regional.
Texas Tech was drawn alongside Notre Dame and No. 16 overall seed Georgia Southern. The Red Raiders face the Fighting Irish in what could be the best opening game of regional weekend.
Jung is one of the few difference-making bats across the country who could carry his team to multiple victories this weekend.
He is considered one of the top bats in the draft class. Mayo projected him to be the No. 10 pick, while McDaniel had him landing at No. 12.
Jung could go even higher if he leads Texas Tech out of the Statesboro regional and he shines in a potential super regional showdown with Tennessee.