When you’re thinking college baseball and you see that there’s a Springfield Regional, you may not exactly be sure what state we’re talking about.
And if you had people guess, Missouri is probably not at the top of anyone’s list when trying to figure out where these games are being played.
But that is definitely the case, as the Missouri State Bears won both the regular season and tournament championships in the Missouri Valley Conference on their way to earning the No. 8 National Seed.
The Bears went 45-10 this season, and lost just one series, which was against Kansas State in the middle of March. MO State is currently riding a 16-game winning streak.
Iowa is the 2-seed in this region, and the Hawkeyes are responsible for the first of Missouri State’s ten losses this year. Iowa beat the Bears 6-5 in a game played in Grand Prairie, Texas on February 21st. The Hawkeyes had not lost a weekend series all season until the final week of the regular season, when they dropped two-of-three at Rutgers, which is an extremely bad series loss to head into the postseason with.
They then went 1-2 in the Big Ten Tournament, and have no real momentum coming into this weekend.
Iowa will open their postseason against 3-seed Oregon, who are on the hottest of hot streaks. There was a time this season when the Ducks looked like they might finish 9th or 10th in the Pac-12, but after being swept by Arizona and Michigan State in back-to-back weekends, finished the year with a 19-8 record, including wins in nine of their last ten contests.
UO finished the year with a series victory over top-seeded UCLA, which was the only series the Bruins dropped all year.
The four-seed in this Regional is Canisius, and I can’t imagine them factoring in to anything with these other three teams. The Golden Griffins do have the 10th-most runs scored in all of college baseball this year, and the 6th-most triples.
I think this will come down to showdowns between Missouri State and Oregon, with the Bears coming out on top. Both teams are extremely hot, but the home-crowd advantage will certainly help as MO State looks to make some program history and host a Super Regional next weekend.
This is the first time they have been able to host postseason play since becoming a full-fledged D-1 program in 1984, and it will be their first opportunity to advance past the Regional round since reaching the College World Series in 2003.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports