A five-year streak of college baseball teams picking up their first College World Series titles ended last week with Oregon State winning its third national championship in program history. That 2013-17 stretch marked the longest consecutive run of first-time winners since there were five new champs from 1952-56 to close out the first decade of tournament play.

Don’t think the parity in today’s game will stop with the Beavers’ return to glory, though. Plenty of top-notch programs will be searching for their first titles in 2019. Here are seven teams who could be next to break through in Omaha:


We start with the 2018 runner-up, who came one foul pop-up putout away from sweeping Oregon State and keeping the streak of first-timers alive. Instead, the Beavers rallied for a miraculous Game 2 win and shut down the Razorbacks in Game 3 to send the Arkansas faithful back home to Fayetteville empty-handed. 

But despite boasting a school-record 11 draft picks, the Razorbacks will return some heavy firepower to a lineup that averaged 7.7 runs per game in their first three CWS games before running into Oregon State. Arkansas returns a trio of all-College World Series selections to the lineup in Casey Martin, Dominic Fletcher and Heston Kjerstad.

Martin and Kjerstad combined for 27 home runs and 107 RBIs while sporting the teams’ highest batting averages and most hits (both had 87) as freshmen. Fletcher, a rising junior, batted .288 with 10 homers and showed excellent defensive range in center field. Arkansas will also have an influx of new arms in 2019 as it tries to replace staff ace Blaine Knight, who finished the season 14-0 with two wins in Omaha. 

The Razorbacks have finished runner-up twice in school history (1979, 2018) and have reached the CWS three times this decade as the pursuit for their first title continues.

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