Last season, I predicted the Bengals would return to the NJCAA World Series in Enid. 

And they did. 

And so they’ve surfed through the early games, ascending in the winner’s bracket behind highly effective starting pitching from aces Tony Dischler

Tony Dischler won game 1 in Enid.

Ex-Marine Ace Chance Mistric won game 2 with a solid outing.

and Chance Mistric.  The Bengal sluggers have treated opposing pitching rudely, too, piling up enough runs (16 in game 1, 11 in game 2) to easily win even if the pitching had been mediocre or worse.

Tonight’s game looks like the first show-down in the Series.  LSU Eunice will oppose Western
Oklahoma, also undefeated in the first two games and enjoying the geographical home field advantage.  The match-up looks interesting because these Okies replaced the Bengals as the number one team in the Div. II national rankings right at the end of the season after the Bengals tripped in some late-
season games. 

Since the Bengals reigned as #1 in the national rankings all season long, their demotion at the end might provide additional motivation.   At the same time, Western Okla. might feel some extra “up-tightness” having to defend their late-season ascent in the ranking.   Sure, they passed the Bengals in a poll, but now can they stay ahead on the field where the ranking becomes irrelevant? 

We’ll have the verdict this evening, of course, but I truly feel confident about this game.  Not knowing a blooming thing about W. Oklahoma’s team or season, I do know this Bengal team pretty well: They’re mature and experienced enough to play with confidence rather than cockiness; they’re playing exceptionally well since Regional; the pitching staff is deeper in quality, from top to bottom, than either of the past two years; and the batters are seeing the  ball really well.

Yep, I like this team’s chances.  A lot.  Geaux, Bengals!