College baseball is a sport where the randomness has allowed even the best teams to lose to the not-so-great sometimes. And it’s why, although the random factor is still quite high, that teams are generally not eliminated in postseason play until they lose two games.
And in the College World Series, it means winning the first two games becomes crucial because not only does the schedule set up better, but teams that survive the first two battles will have to use one less pitcher to advance to the CWS Finals.
The two four-team brackets have the losers of the first two games face off, and then the winners do the same. The losers bracket loser is “two-and-cue” in college baseball parlance, as in the played two games, and now are off to eat barbeque as the team meal on the way home.
But the team that is victorious the winners bracket game is now 2-0, and will now need to be beaten twice by the same team to be eliminated. And they’ll be facing a team that has had to survive either one or two elimination games just to get in position.... for two more elimination games.
But the winners bracket victor will need a maximum of four games played to reach the CWS Finals, and potentially only three, with either zero or one elimination games.
While it may be double-elimination, the path is always certainly easier for any team that wins their first two games in Omaha.
You can get the entire bracket and schedule for the 2022 College World Series here, as well as below from NCAA.com.