The Road to Omaha doesn’t begin in the spring; coaches already are driving their players toward the College World Series. It’s the rise-n-grind that players tweet about; it’s the workout pictures that are shared on social media. It’s the day-in, day-out work that coaches and players hope will separate their team in June. Before the first pitch in February, NCAA.com is highlighting teams that may reach the Mecca of college baseball: Omaha.
• 2014: 41-17-1 (21-9 Pac-12)
• Head coach: Lindsay Meggs (sixth year)
Huskies’ team website
1. What can fans expect from this squad in 2015? The Huskies will play the game the way it is supposed to be played. They will have solid pitching — led by All-American Tyler Davis — great defense and depend on timely hitting and speed on the base paths. Washington will do the little things necessary to win, like bunt the runners over, steal bases and take the extra base on hits.
2. What is the one thing that this year’s team does best? Again, they play the game the right way. Also, speed will be a weapon, especially in the outfield. Centerfielder Braden Bishop and catcher Austin Rei can be counted on to be the best defensive players at their positions in the Pac-12, if not the nation.
3. Bottom of the ninth, tied game, two outs, winning run on second … which player does this team want to step up to the plate? Either junior outfielder Braden Bishop or junior catcher Austin Rei. If Bishop’s on second, then for sure, Rei.
4. If this team had one game to win, which pitcher would get the ball? Senior right-hander Tyler Davis. As a junior, he was unfazed by any situation and pitches with a chip on his shoulder. He is the most unassuming player on the team, but has the heart of a warrior.
5. Who are we most likely to see make a “SportsCenter Top 10” play on this squad? Braden Bishop. He robbed two home runs last year, including one against USC that was SportsCenter’s No. 1 play. There is no reason he won’t do it again.
6. What does Omaha mean to this team? Everything. Washington has never advanced to the College World Series. To play in Omaha would validate years of hard work by not only this year’s team, but would be a celebration that generations of Huskies would have a hand in. Head coach Lindsay Meggs preaches “The Road To Omaha” starting on day one and has changed the mindset of recruits and his team that getting to the College World Series should be every player’s goal.
— Washington Sports Information Director Brian Tom
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Husky Baseball is on fire! https://t.co/zbYY1q1ddk
— UW Baseball (@UW_Baseball) January 27, 2015