But any team that wins it all in Omaha is going to have to rely, at least to some degree, on their bullpen. It's possible for the CWS winning team to have played as many as eight games in 10 days if they come through the losers bracket.
The health and effectiveness of the Oregon State bullpen is in question after last weekend, even if OSU insists that everything is fine. It's unknown if closer Max Engelbrekt, who tweaked his back against K-State, will be available. He did throw a bit on Wednesday, and it's possible he could be available Saturday for Game 1 (TV: ESPN2, 12 pm PT)
Then again, it probably won't be known unless he steps on the mound – if skipper Pay Casey wants to keep opponents preparing for him. Casey said injured closer closer Tony Bryant was OK to pitch in 2011 but he was never going to be able to go. Casey after the series was over and Bryant remained said he didn't want Vanderbilt to know the OSU closer wasn't available.
What it boils down to here is that Jace Fry, junior right-hander Dan Child and senior right-hander Taylor Starr have to be more effective than they were against K-State.
Fry only returned to action last month off an 11-month shelving after Tommy John surgery, while Child and Starr had been more effective during the season. K-State ripped the trio for seven hits in two innings to take Game 1 in the Super Regional. And it wasn't that they looked terrible on the mound, it was more being unable to get that third strike.
Scott Schultz and Tyler Painton are also in the bullpen mix and it would be a big boost if the Beavs had one of them get hot.
The good news is Oregon State's staff ERA is 2.27, best of any remaining team in the 8-team College World Series. First game opponent Mississippi State is no slouch, with a 2.77 ERA.
TD Ameritrade Park is a pitcher's park, too. Runs are likely going to be at a premium.
The format is the same as the opening regionals, with four-team, double elimination brackets. After the two bracket winners emerge for the final, it's best 2-of-3.