The 2015 College World Series will end with the same two teams as 2014. Preseason consensus number one Vanderbilt, and preseason number three Virginia will square-off in a rematch of the 2014 national championship series. Vanderbilt took game one of the best-of-three series on Monday night with a 5-1 victory. Game 2 will be tonight at 8:00 EST.
Here’s what to expect:
Carson Fulmer is the best pitcher in the country and is a top 5 draft pick. Beyond that, Walker Buehler is a first-rounder and the guy that sandwiches those two veterans is Phillip Pfeifer. The bullpen is one of the best in the country and the defense is performing at a .991 clip in the CWS. If you can believe it, the offense is just as good.
Look no further than Dansby Swanson. He’s the first overall pick of the 2015 MLB draft and he is an all around shortstop. More than just being a strong hitter, he’s also a strong team guy. He will do everything from hit the gaps, to bunt the guy over. And that’s just Swanson. Vanderbilt has a slugging percentage of .461 in Omaha which gives them a power advantage over the Cavaliers.
Virginia is an old-school type of baseball team that aims to win with pitching and defense. Josh Sborz has been outstanding this season and has withstood a tough Arkansas Razorbacks squad to open Omaha. His 1.70 ERA is one of the best in the country and he has the ability to go toe-to-toe with the Vanderbilt pitchers and will challenge the Commodore offense.
The offense has also been pretty good this year for Virginia as the team has a collective .262 batting average in Omaha this season. Matt Thaiss has been on a tear this year hitting .337 with 10 homers for the Cavs with Daniel Pinero and Pavin Smith each following him with six each. The offense is good enough to get on-base, the question will be if they will be able to score.
The Commodores were in this position last season and won over Virginia in three games. But believe me when I say that this team is even better. Walker Buehler, Carson Fulmer, and Dansby Swanson are all first-rounders and they are surrounded by a coach and a team that has the ability to take this team anywhere they want to go. While I like the Virginia Cavaliers, I’ve had the feeling since the CWS got started that if Vandy could get past pool play, they would be tough to beat. After yesterday’s result the Vandy Boys are now just one win away from repeating as champions