For the past few weeks, the question on baseball people’s minds has been will the Mountaineers break into the Top 25? They started out by beating Oklahoma before continuing their hot streak against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Future first round pick, Alek Manoah kept that momentum going when the Mountaineers upended the Texas Tech Red Raiders to win their third consecutive series against a Top 25 squad. The baseball gods finally rewarded the Mountaineers with a Top 25 ranking this week.
The season is far from over - West Virginia still has 20 games left before the Big 12 Tournament - but the baseball gods are once again smiling down on Randy Mazey and the Old Gold and Blue. D1Baseball, one of the sites that provides official rankings for NCAA baseball, released their updated standings for the 64-team College World Series.
D1Baseball has WVU as the #14 seed and the Mountaineers would host a Regional tournament in the World Series field. This is huge news because host teams enjoy huge advantages in the tournament and the schools benefit in the increased revenue.
If you are unfamiliar with college baseball, the College World Series is a lot like March Madness. 64 teams are selected into the postseason tournament. Those 64 teams are ranked 1-64, based on a host of factors including records.
Of those 64 teams, the top 16 are selected to host a group of 4 teams in what are called “Regionals”. Regionals are a four-team, double elimination bracket. In 2017, the Mountaineers were the #2 seed in the Winston-Salem Regional, where WVU couldn’t solve the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest but still came within one game of advancing to a Super Regional.
The Super Regional is where the remaining 16 teams are teamed up, based upon pre-determined seeds. 1 plays 16, 2 plays 15, etc. The top 8 seeds, (1-8) host the 9-16 seeds. If by some amazing scenario any of the Top 8 are upset in the regional format, then the nationally ranked team would host the Super Regional. The two teams play a best of three series to determine who advances.
The 8 winners advance to the official College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. The 8-team field is split into two 4-team field and a double elimination tournament is held for each bracket. The two winners then meet in a best-of-three series to determine the champion.
In order to win the College World Series, a team must win three Regional games, 2 Super Regional games, three College World Series games and two College World Series final games, or 10 games.