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Power Ranking the 4 Seeds, 2024 Edition

Last season, Oral Roberts shocked most of the world by making a run to the College World Series. I say most because some of us knew the kind of danger the Golden Eagles were in the tournament (they were the most dangerous 4 seed, per last year's power ranking). Of this year's teams, who is going to make the most noise? Will it be Oral Roberts for the second year in a row? Or will it be a Penn team that almost won a regional last year? Or will it be a completely different school that becomes a household name by mid-June? Stay tuned to find out who has the best shot!

16: Grambling

If there is a worse regional for a team that struggles to pitch across the board, I don't know where it would be. College Station is going to be very offensive with the Aggies, Cajuns, and Longhorns squaring off. If Grambling makes one game competitive, it would be a massive moral victory for this, frankly, overmatched squad.

Danger Rating: 1

15: SEMO

This might feel a little insulting to a team with 4 double-digit HR guys (team total of 100), but the pitching staff really lowers the ceiling for this year's OVC Champ. Arkansas is just a bad matchup. SEMO has not seen the elite pitching the Razorbacks will throw at them, and both La Tech and K-State can out-slug them pretty handily. Not a bad team, but just outclassed in this region.

Danger Rating: 2

14: LIU

The Sharks' hopes for a memorable postseason will all rest on the shoulders of ace Garrett Yawn (4.08, 100 K in 90.2 IP). However, they are facing off against one of the best offensive units in UNC. Afterwards, they will either face red-hot LSU or another offensive juggernaut in Wofford. Their chances of winning aren't great, but Yawn has the ability to put a scare into the Tarheels.

Danger Rating: 2.5

13: Niagara

Eric Rataczak has been the type of player who can beat you handily. He leads the Purple Eagles in nearly every important offensive category and can change a game with a swing of the bat at any moment. Outside of Rataczak, their best hope is to get it to Zach Cameron in a close game, late. Their closer is the undisputed best bullpen arm on the team. They might only have one chance to win a game, and it will likely end with a Cameron save.

Danger Rating: 3

12: Oral Roberts

This is not the same Golden Eagles team that showed up last year. The offense has taken several large steps backwards, pitching depth is effectively non-existent, and the team as a whole has yet to really find its groove. However, ace Jakob Hall is capable of keeping them in a game against anyone, so don't be shocked if they keep it close against OU in the opener. Who knows? They might even win it. Hard to see them taking more than a game, though.

Danger Rating: 3

11: NKU

This is a rough spot for the Norse. Do you throw your ace, who is far and away you best arm, against Tennessee, the #1 overall seed, or do you save him for Game 2? It's a really rough spot to be in, but it might not matter with some of the other talent. Southern Miss and Indiana can both take advantage of NKU's lack of depth on the mound. Don't be surprised if you see a 10-8 game of Saturday between the Norse and their opponent.

Danger Rating: 3.5

10: Fresno State

The Bulldogs might just be going to a perfect regional for them. The crowds, as passionate as they may be, will not be overwhelming. A pitching staff who thrives on filling up the zone will be bale to do just that against teams that don't possess too much power. The downside? When paired up against the other rosters, Fresno State is slightly behind in almost every category. Unless they get most of the lucky breaks in this regional, sustained success will be very hard to come by.

Danger Rating: 4

9: Western Michigan

The Broncos have a trio of superb hitters that lead the offense in Cade Sullivan, CJ Richmond, and Dylan Nevar. Outside of this triple threat, there isn't much of power in this lineup. Pitching also isn't built to blow guys away, but starter Nolan Vicek can keep them in most games. Kentucky is a tough draw because of their play style, but WMU might be able to hit enough to stay with them if everything goes right.

Danger Rating: 5

8: Army

If it wasn't for High Point, Army would undoubtedly have the best pitching staff out of the 4 seeds. In fact, led by Justin Lehman, the kind of arm who induces weak contact more than he misses bats, they might have the staff to create some chaos. If they didn't have to play Georgia, they would be higher up in the ranking. I doubt the Army offense can go toe-to-toe with UGA in Game 1, but they have the pitching to make a mini run through the loser's bracket.

Danger Rating: 5

7: Evansville

The Purple Aces have a potent offense and juuuuust enough pitching to make some noise in Greenville. ECU has gone through stretches where they are beatable, especially without Yesavage on the mound. Should the Pirates try and save him for Game 2, Nick Shallenberger and Kip Fougerousse might launch a couple balls into the stratosphere and add some stress to the rowdy environment in Greenville.

Danger Rating: 6

6: Tulane

The talent on the Green Wave suggests that they should have been a contender for an at-large bid. The season unfolded differently, yet here they are via winning the AAC Tournament. They face an incredibly deep and experienced Oregon State squad, but don't be surprised if Teo Banks and the boys catch fire at the plate. When these bats get rolling, there are very few arms in the country that can shut them down. They just need pitching to hold serve.

Danger Rating: 7

5: Bryant

The Bulldogs have quality pieces both in the lineup and in the rotation. Gavin Noriega and Zac Zyons lead the offense while Tyler Horvat and Luke Delongchamp shut it down on the mound. They aren't the kind of school where the stats blow you away, but they are never out of a ballgame with their offense. NC State will be a tough matchup, but if offense can produce at a decent clip, their pitching staff should give them a chance to flip that Raleigh regional on its head.

Danger Rating: 7.5

4: High Point

Despite having a very respectable offense, the difference maker for this High Point team comes on the other side of the ball. The Panthers might have the best rotation of any 4 seed in the tournament. They have three real starters who can keep them in games, but the bullpen is thing. Don't be surprised if we see a combination of starters combine for a win. It might not be against Clemson in the opener, but stranger things have happened.

Danger Rating: 8

3: Penn

Last year, they came so close to advancing out of the Auburn Regional. Unfortunately, they fell short. This year, without the same pitching depth, Penn will be leaning on superstar Wyatt Henseler, arguably the best player to ever wear the Quaker jersey, to lead the offense in an offensively-minded regional in Charlottesville. If pitching can keep the Penn offense within striking distance, the Quakers will steal at least one game this weekend.

Danger Rating: 9

2: Grand Canyon

Many, including the fabulous Mike Rooney, believe Grand Canyon is the best 4 seed in the tournament. They might be right. They've been to the dance for 3 out of the last 4 years, have a plethora of arms that fill up the zone, and have an offense that can score bunches in a hurry. Tyler Wilson is the best overall hitter for the Lopes, and it would not shock me at all for him to end up on the All-Regional Team alongside several other GCU teammates.

Danger Rating: 9.5

1: Stetson

The Hatters are in a very comfortable position. They played at FSU this season once already, leaving with a 1-0 loss. They've also notched a win against UCF this season as well. The offense is not the most explosive, but, led by Kyle Jones (.352 with 32 BB to 27 K and 22 SB), they wreak havoc on opposing defenses and pitching staffs. While this is not as egregious as Oral Roberts last season, do not be surprised to see the Hatters playing on Sunday.

Danger Rating: 10

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