Lone national seeds TCU and Virginia clash in winners bracket showdown

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    After rallying to beat Texas Tech 3-2 in their first game of the College World Series, the TCU baseball team faces the only other national seed left in Omaha, Neb., in the Virginia Cavaliers.

    Virginia (50-14, 22-8 ACC) advanced to the winners bracket after defeating Ole Miss in walkoff fashion on Sunday night. The win secured the Tuesday night matchup between the two top-10 teams.

    The purple and white have never faced Virginia in program history.

    Junior left-hander Brandon Finnegan will have his work cut out for him right away as UVA’s leadoff hitter has proven to be the most dangerous.

    Since the postseason began, Cavaliers first baseman Mike Papi has a .480 batting average and a .640 slugging percentage. Papi even delivered the game-winning double Sunday night to score Thomas Woodruff in the bottom of the ninth inning.  

    If that’s not enough for the Frogs, Papi also fields a perfect percentage on defense.

    Papi and the rest of UVA’s team like to get on the board early.

    The Cavaliers have outscored their total opponents 149-36 in the first three innings of play this season. After they get up on the opposition, Virginia sends out the 19th overall pick in the MLB Draft to finish the job.

    Closer and Cincinnati Reds first round draft pick Nick Howard is 19-for-21 in save opportunities on the year. He also has 51 strikeouts and counting.

    The matchup between the two teams is headlined by the pitching rotations.

    While there is no on field history between the two programs, the head coaches of both teams used to compete off the field.

    TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle used to go against UVA head coach Brian O’Connor on the recruiting circuit.

    “I’ve known [O’Connor] forever since I was recruiting at Tulane and he was recruiting at Notre Dame,” Schlossnagle said. “Recruiting the same players all over the country,”

    With another spot in the winners bracket on the line, Tuesday night’s winner would be in prime position to make it to the CWS Finals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from TD Ameritrade Park.