The 2007 college baseball season had one of the most memorable postseasons in history. Louisville and Mississippi State -- both underdogs in the regional round -- registered upset after upset in an unpredictable run to the College World Series. UC-Irvine made its first trip to Rosenblatt Stadium, but the finale seemed like deja vu all over again as Oregon State beating North Carolina to claim the national championship. After Major League Baseball televised its draft for the first time last spring -- and with the launch of conference-only channels such as the Big Ten Network -- college baseball will set records in visibility this spring. Here's who you will be watching on ESPN in June:
Of the eight teams that made it to Omaha last year, six considered pitching as one of their most significant strengths. If the Rebels make a run through the NCAA tournament, it will be on the back of a pitching staff that is both deep and top-heavy. Anchoring the rotation are
The Wildcats combine a deep pitching staff with good defense and enough power to hit with any team. The rotation features
After two-consecutive trips to the College World Series, North Carolina faces the challenge of making a third straight trip. The Heels have a deep lineup and talented pitching staff.
On Friday, Arizona State was just outside my top eight because I wasn't sure they would have enough pitching. After all, the team just lost two members of their bullpen --
You could argue last year's Vanderbilt team -- which featured two top 10 draft picks in
The Hurricanes let me down a year ago when I predicted a run to Omaha before the team faded due to injuries and an ineffective pitching staff. With the team healthier and one year older, the 2008 'Canes look more poised than ever for big things. The lineup contains three of SIOC's top 25 prospects (
The Bears are the biggest sleeper pick on this list, but the talent is undeniable. Sophomore ace
Missouri has two of the Cape Cod League's best summer talents on its pitching staff --
In opening weekend losses to Vanderbilt and Arizona State, the two-time defending champion Beavers learned the hard way what it will be like to play the season with a target on their backs. Last year, many thought it would be impossible for the Beavers to return to Omaha given the talent they had lost. Though this year's squad has a talented group of freshman, there are enough holes in the lineup to suggest coach
Even without ace
Like Arizona State, the Gamecocks are always going to hit -- and this year is no exception.
Only 10 runs were scored total in the three-game series between Long Beach State and Rice last weekend, proving good pitching can beat even aluminum bats. The keys for Long Beach were eight shutout innings from command-artist
On Sunday, Texas saw its most promising development in two years: 6-foot-10 starter
The Owls were disappointed not to win the national championship last season, but don't count them out this year. The team boasts a fabulous weekend rotation with the return of former All-America southpaw
Mark it down: Transfer