Happy Thursday, we are just under 48 hours away from the opener in Omaha. Fire away with any CWS or college baseball questions.
Which first-timer do you see going further in Omaha, Southern Miss or Virginia?
I think Virginia has a better shot simply because of pitching. They have really thrown the ball well and recently that has been a driver here in Omaha. You never know though, Fresno was not the best team on the mound last year and things worked out pretty well for them.
Kyle, who are your favorites ou ot each bracket and what is it going to take for my Tigers to win the National Championhip ths year. Loved your commentary down here last week!!
Thanks for the note Donnell, Baton Rouge is always a great place this time of year. I would take LSU and ASU right now. LSU was my pick from the beginning and I have not seen anything that would change that. I like how balanced ASU is this year and their top two guys have been pretty special all year. To your second point, I think that the Tigers have to win the first two games. Their front line guys are very good on the mound, but overall pitching depth might be the biggest question mark. It would be tough for them to fight back through the loser's bracket.
First of all, congrads to the Golden Eagles, what a season it has been down here in Hattiesburg!! How do you think USM will do up in Omaha. I know we are a huge underdog, but heck, look at what Fresno State did last year. I believe we can and will beat Texas (i know most people on this chat are laughing right now).
Let me offer my congrats to Southern Miss as well. It is a great story here in Omaha and all across college baseball. I think it will be a tall order here, but your point about Fresno is well taken. I think the key in game one is taking the outs that Texas will give them. Augie will force every opposing team to defend the bunt, if they can do that, they should have a chance.
I like Fullerton, what is there downfall?
Fullerton is pretty complete. The only weakness might be on the power side, but they do everything else so well that it really has not shown up.
Mr. Peterson,Looking forward to watching the CWS. My question is this, Do you think North Carolina can win the CWS this year?
I absolutely think that they can win it, but game one is going to be key. The biggest advantage that the Heels have is experience, as many of these guys are making their third trip to Omaha. They are dangerous and have plenty of talent to make a run.
What do you think are ASU's chances of being a legitimate contender with UNC and UT in our bracket?
See below, I like the Devils this year. If you can put up those pitching numbers in that ballpark, you can really pitch.
I've been trying too get on for years never have, What about Fullerton?
Welcome Fred, you can never make that statement again. I hit on Fullerton below...Dave Serrano has the type of Fullerton team again this year that has done well in Omaha in the past.
Kyle, what was your reaction to Cal State Fullerton's decision to throw their Saturday starter in the opening game against Arkansas instead of All-American Daniel Renken?
Dave Serrano mentioned this week that he likes to think of this starters as 1, 1A and 1B. Renken and Ramirez seem to have seperated themselves a little during the year though. I have had coaches this year tell me that game 2 is the game that they circle because of how important it is to your run. If you win game one, going 2-0 is a clear advantage over the field. If you lose game 1, you are fighting for your lives. It helps to be in the situation that Fullerton is in where both of your top two guys can really pitch...
What happened to traditional powers like Stanford and Miami this year? Do you see more parity entering the college baseball game?
Great question Mike, and great layup years ago at the Cafetorium. Your basketball skills were unmatched. Parity is here to stay in the College game. The roster limit of 35, new transfer rules and scholarship regulations have continued to even the field. Plus, the mandatory start date has helped the northern schools a little as well. Last, more athletic directors are committing serious money to baseball, which helps the game as a whole.
Hey Kyle,Thanks for all of the great work you do. How do you like the current CWS format? Would you make any changes?
I like the current format becuase the championship series is similar to what teams face over the course of the year. A three game series tests the starters and the bullpen, and now teams will have at least one day off before the series begins.
We've been hearing about some of the top draft picks in the CWS, who are some of the underclassmen that we will see that may be high draft picks in the next couple of years?
There are plenty of guys who will hear their names called in the next few years. Renken should be a great draft next year for Fullerton. I really like Mikey Mahtook from LSU too, he is just a freshman but has every tool that you would want. UVA is loaded with underclassmen too.
Kyle, as a native of Omaha, how do you feel about Rosenblatt closing up in a few years? Other than playing there, do you have any favorite moments?
It will be tough to see Rosenblatt go, but I understand why the move is taking place. The greatest testament to the city of Omaha is the 25 year extension that came along with the committment to build the new ballpark. One of my favorite memories growing up was watching Creighton in the CWS. For kids that grew up around here that was quite a week.
who has the best pitching this year at the CWS?
I will take Texas just because of overall depth, but Fullerton, LSU and ASU have 1-2 punches that are tough to beat.
Who is the "one" hitter that I don't want to miss any at-bats from this CWS?
Dustin Ackley from UNC. He is the best pure hitter in the country and should be playing in the big leagues in the next two years.
You can guess who I'm pulling for, but who are the dark horses this year?
My dark horse would be UVA. They have the arms and have probably had the toughest road to get here. If you can get through the Irvine regional, then beat Ole Miss after losing game one on a walk off, you can hang with anybody in the country.
What do you like most about this event?
The fact that it has stayed at the same location for over 50 years. Omaha and the CWS have become tied together in the college baseball world, and every college baseball player starts the season with Omaha on his mind.
I've got time for a few more.
I hate to even bring this up, but I played collegiately in the 90's, and steroids were being used by multiple teams in that time. Do you have a take on steroids and college baseball?
I really don't think that it is a problem in the college game. The NCAA does a good job of testing at all championships and I think that it has done a good job of keeping it out of the college game.
That's it for today, thanks for the questions. Game one is Saturday at 2 ET. Follow along on twitter as well, search for my name and college baseball for updates throughout the series.