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Posted: Wednesday June 24, 2009 1:58PM; Updated: Wednesday June 24, 2009 2:27PM
Joe Lemire Joe Lemire >
INSIDE BASEBALL

Texas vs. LSU: Breaking down the College World Series finale (cont.)

On Texas starter Cole Green

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Coach 1: "Cole is a great competitor. He can probably throw the breaking ball [if he is] behind or even in the count as well as anybody in the Series. He'll go to the breaking ball, but he has enough of a fastball and spots it up well."

Coach 2: "Green is a lot like [Game 1 starter] Chance Ruffin -- the velocity is about the same, throws the same stuff. He's going to need to be really good because the LSU lineup is a tough matchup for him with all their left-handers."

On the LSU offense

Coach 1: "They have the best balance. They have some holes in their swings but they don't miss their pitches very often. Mitchell's a perfect example: He's patient, really keeps the bat in his zone and he's pretty good in his zone. They're very balanced with team speed and power. I think they can beat you with the long ball, they can beat you with a good quality at-bat. They're not a big sac bunt team, but they'll use it when they need to. They're very aggressive with runners in scoring position. ... [First baseman Ryan] Schimpf is their best hitter. Although [designated hitter Blake] Dean has physically their most power, Schimpf has shown the most power through the year, but he also has speed to turn a ball in the gap into a triple and can beat out an infield hit. If you give him the right pitch, he'll hit it out of the park."

Coach 2: "LSU's lineup is just so athletic. They're used to swinging away. They score runs in bunches --they're not used to scoring them one at a time."

Comparing tonight's starters and bullpen situations

Coach 1: "I think LSU's one and two [starters] are as good as anybody's in the country. Texas is [statistically] No. 1 in the country in pitching for a reason. They're balanced with starters and relievers. With the matchup of those two starters, I think either one can go out and dominate. [LSU's] Matty Ott is rested, so he can probably go up to three, four innings. And LSU usually goes deep into games with their starting pitching. I think the key for Ranaudo is to try and get through six."

Coach 2: "I do think that the extra-inning game [25 innings against Boston College in the regional] with Austin Wood [who threw 169 pitches in 13 innings of relief] finally reared its ugly head in the first game. Wood has been their go-to guy at any point in the game all year and even last year. [In Game 1] when they pulled him, with one out in the ninth and a runner at first base, that was so atypical. That's when I thought, They don't know who their guy is anymore. They don't know who to close with."

On coaching and defense

Coach 1: "Everybody thinks [Texas] coach [Augie] Garrido is a small-ball guy, but he's coaching his team based on what his guys are doing right now. [In Game 2] he could have tacked on [an insurance run] with a couple of bunts, but he let guys swing away. They're both outstanding coaches. The difference is that LSU probably has a slight advantage defensively."

Coach 2: "In spite of the fact that Texas hasn't played good defense the last couple of games, I still think they're exceptional."

Prediction

Coach 1: "LSU's going to win it because of Ranaudo and Ott. Texas might be hotter, but LSU is just the better overall team."

Coach 2: "My prediction on the whole thing all along has been that if it went three games, Texas would win because of their pitching. They're deeper."

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