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2009 CWS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
June 21, 2009

SCS.comBig bats meet small ball for the title. LSU, the number three national seed, will battle top-seeded Texas for the right to carry the NCAA Baseball Championship trophy back home to campus. Who will have the will and determination to capture the hardware? We will break it down and give our final predictions for this college baseball season.

#3 LSU VS. #1 TEXAS

THE MATCHUP

LSU blitzed through their side of the CWS Bracket. They opened with a 9-5 win over Virginia and followed that up with two wins of SEC rival Arkansas, 9-1 and 14-5. The Tigers have had the long breaks in between games and this has not proven to be a good thing in the past; however, they have great players that lay-offs do not bother them. Meanwhile, #1 Texas went through their bracket without a loss; however, they had to work hard to do so. They opened with a 7-6 see-saw battle with Southern Mississippi, which saw the Longhorns score their last three runs on bases loaded walks. They then fell behind #5 Arizona State 6-0, then rallied to win 10-6. In the bracket championship, the Sun Devils broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the 9th but the Longhorns hit two solo homeruns in the bottom of the frame to advance to the Finals.

THE VENUE

The crowds this year have been great and the Finals will only have many more fans wishing that they had tickets. The two teams have a combined 11 titles and storied histories, although Texas' history is a bit longer. Night baseball in Omaha for the Championship is just a great site, especially when these two schools battle in the next two to three days.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Starting Pitching
For LSU, Louis Coleman and company will be ready to go and well-rested. If the Tigers offense continues, this may make it just as easy on Tiger pitchers to just throw strikes. For Texas, Chance Ruffin, Brandon Workman, and Cole Green have been working hard to make it out of their bracket. Workman will probably get the Game 1 start as the other two pitched Tuesday and Thursday. Ruffin was roughed up in the first meeting with Arizona State and might be getting taxed in the post-season.
Advantage: LSU
Hitting
If you watch LSU play, then it seems as though they put up crooked numbers left and right. "Geauxrrila Ball" seems to be back in full force. They have been putting runners on base and then driving them in either with doubles or the multiple run homer. Texas has been struggling in games down the stretch; however, they typically use small ball to manufacture runs. The solo homeruns Friday night to win the bracket will be a huge momentum boost. Sacrafice bunts play a huge role in Texas' offense; however, they will need to put up big innings to keep up with the Tigers.
Advantage: LSU
Out of the Pen
LSU has been just asking their bullpen to come in and throw strikes as they have had the lead most of their time in Omaha. This will help them as they have not been pressured; however, they might be in pressure situations against the Longhorns, which might be a bad thing. Texas closer, Austin Wood, gave up the go ahead run in Friday's game versus Arizona State. This might open the door for LSU psychologically; however, Wood has been stellar all season long.
Advantage: LSU
Coaching
Texas coach Augie Garrido has won championships before. This experience may pay off in certain situations; however, LSU coach Paul Mainieri has been doing the right thing for his ballclub the past three seasons. Mainieri has not really been tested this post-season as his Tigers are 8-0. Their closest game was a 3-2 win over Baylor in the regional. He should be fine for the pressure situation this week.
Advantage: Texas
Intangibles
Both teams want to win a title. Afterall, both baseball programs set out to get to this point and win it. LSU just has it going right now and show no signs of slowing up. They have been running out to leads and coasting to the finish line. Texas has had to work hard ever since the 25 inning game against Boston College in the regional. Momentum is huge in baseball and LSU has lots of it right now.
Advantage: LSU

FINAL THOUGHTS

This has been a great season for college baseball. It is hard to believe that we are at this point already. Both teams have played well all season long and both deserve to be in this position to take home the trophy.
Texas will have to put up runs unless it gets outstanding performance on the mound. LSU is in a groove at the plate. If they continue to rip the cover off the ball, then that might spell doom for the Longhorns. I will go ahead and make a predicton...LSU sweeps its way to the title and an undefeated post-season, 10-0. Have a great fall and see you back in February for another great season of college baseball!!
U.S.A.
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