CWS First Round Impressions

With the first round of the College World Series in the books, TSD's Hunter Paniagua and Austin Cooper break it down.

Best Player so far

Austin Cooper:
The top player in the tournament so far has been LHP Carlos Rodon of NC State. In game one of the CWS for the Wolfpack, he threw a complete game against No. 1 overall seed North Carolina. It wasn't until the ninth inning that Rodon allowed a run to cross the plate and he finished the game by only allowing 5 hits.

Hunter Paniagua:
Carlos Rodon - He showed everyone why he could be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's draft. He dominated UNC with eight strikeouts and only allowed five hits. He would have had a complete game shutout if not for a late spark by the Tar Heels. Opposing teams will have a hard time getting out of the bracket with him likely returning to the mound Friday or Saturday.

Best play so far

Austin Cooper:
The best play so far came from Mississippi State right fielder Hunter Renfroe in game one against the Beavers of Oregon State. It was the last out of the game to clinch the victory for the bulldogs. Renfroe covered a ton of ground to get back to the wall to catch a ball that seemed like it was the game-winning homerun off of the bat.

Hunter Paniagua:
Hunter Renfroe's catch to end Game 1 - With Mississippi State clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth inning, Oregon State's Danny Hayes crushed one to deep right-center field. Renfroe seemingly lost the ball off the bat, got turned around but still made an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track. If he doesn't come up with it, that game would have at least been tied. Instead, the Bulldogs head into the winner's bracket.

Team in the best shape

Austin Cooper:
UCLA. The Buins defeated LSU in the opening round of the CWS and will now get to face NC State. The Wolfpack already used their ace and UCLA has the capability of throwing a pitcher that could be their number one guy. The schedule sets up nicely for the Bruins to make a nice run in Omaha.

Hunter Paniagua:
UCLA - For all its offensive shortcomings, UCLA has the kind of pitching staff that could send the Bruins on a run. LSU had no answer for Adam Plutko on Sunday, and UCLA's next starter, Nick Vander Tuig, is even better. Late rallies will be hard to come by against the Bruins' bullpen and that's a formula that could definitely give them two more wins in this tournament.

Team in the worst shape

Austin Cooper:
LSU. The Tigers lost their opening game to UCLA on Sunday night, something that completely derailed the plans they had for their pitching staff in the Tournament. They will now face off against No. 1 seed North Carolina in an elimination game on Tuesday night. The Tarheels have not lost back-to-back games all season.

Hunter Paniagua:
UNC - The Tar Heels looked nothing like the No. 1 national seed Sunday against North Carolina State. While you can't blame them for struggling against Rodon, their once-stellar pitching staff has become a cause for concern. With both UNC and LSU licking their wounds, the Tar Heels will need to show a lot more promise in order to avoid becoming a two-and-out team.

Interesting storyline

Austin Cooper:
The most interesting story line in Omaha is how all national seeds are now in the losers bracket. Only three of them survived to get to the CWS and now it seems as though most of them could be making very early exits from the Tournament.

Hunter Paniagua:
All three national seeds are in the loser's bracket - We saw that the national seeds weren't untouchable in the Super Regionals, but that parity has carried over into the CWS. All three national seeds lost their opening games, and at least one will be going home without a victory. If Oregon State can't get past Louisville, that would leave us with only one national seed after the first four days of the tournament.


Tiger Blitz Top Stories