Wild MCWS ends with Skenes as MOP, LSU as champs

June 27th, 2023

The Men’s College World Series Championship Series was an offensive explosion, with LSU and Florida combining for 57 runs through the three contests.

After getting walloped in the second game 24-4, the Tigers bounced back to take home the victory 18-4 on Monday night and the MCWS crown. The exorbitant number of runs may not be a surprise considering LSU’s ace and winner of the World Series Most Outstanding Player award Paul Skenes didn't pitch in the championship round.

Skenes, the No. 2 Draft prospect per MLB Pipeline, was dominant on the mound all tournament. In the MCWS, he made two starts, going 7 2/3 innings against Tennessee, allowing two runs and fanning 12 batters, and spinning eight shutout innings against top-seeded Wake Forest, striking out nine.

Skenes was also available to close out the final game on Monday but wasn’t needed due to LSU’s massive lead.

The 6-foot-6 hurler, who possesses an 80-grade fastball, may not have pitched in the contest, but still showed off his strength during the celebration, carrying LSU catcher Alex Milazzo onto the field to join his teammates. Milazzo had suffered a fractured shin earlier in the game and was unable walk out on his own.

One of the biggest standouts in the series was Ty Floyd. The No. 87 Draft prospect fanned a whopping 17 batters in the Championship Series opener, tying a MCWS record for the most strikeouts in an outing of nine innings or fewer. The right hander was dealing, fanning 13 of the 17 batters with his fastball, and only allowing three runs in eight innings, impressive when you consider the offense in the other games.

To round out the top three Draft prospects are outfielders Dylan Crews and Wyatt Langford.

Crews, who put up video game numbers this season at LSU – slashing .426/.567/.713 -- showed up big in the final game, going 4-for-6 with a triple. The top-ranked Draft prospect also won the 2023 Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the best college baseball player that season.

In addition to touting a 70-grade hit tool, Crews also has the ability to stay in center field long term. This was apparent on Monday night, when he made a leaping grab up against the wall to take away an extra-base hit.

While Crews and Skenes went home with the hardware, perhaps the most impressive player in the Championship Series was Florida's Wyatt Langford. The No. 3 Draft prospect was launching moonshots all tournament long and is now the record holder for both the longest and second-longest taters ever hit in Charles Schwab Field history. The longest came on June 16, when he crushed a 456-foot dinger against the University of Virginia, and he then walloped another on Sunday night that traveled 449 ft.

Langford showed off his power once again in Game 3, crushing a first inning home run. He finished going 7-for-13 across the three games in the finals with two big flies and three doubles.

Despite the story of the finals being runs, runs and more runs, No. 79 Draft prospect Brandon Sproat put together a respectable start in Game 1, getting seven whiffs and allowing two runs in four innings.

Another prospect who had a productive series was LSU first baseman Tre’ Morgan. The No. 136 Draft prospect had two multihit games for the Tigers, smacking a double and recording two RBIs in the final game.

Now that the College World Series has ended, the next stop for many of these prospects will be the MLB Draft, where they will be eagerly waiting to hear their name called.