UCLA pitcher and Texas Rangers draftee Ryan Garcia, 21, threw 112 pitches in his NCAA regionals start, then pitched in relief two days later. (Scott Chandler/UCLA Athletics)

In a typical regular-season week of NCAA college baseball, schools will play one midweek game (on a Tuesday, for example) against a non-conference opponent and then a three-game series Friday through Sunday. In short, four games every seven days.

In the opening round of the NCAA playoffs, schools participate in a four-team, double-elimination tournament. This means that if a school loses one of its first two games, it must play five games in four days in order to advance.

This presents two problems:

  1. The regular season doesn’t prepare a team for the playoffs.
  2. Workloads for pitching staffs are ramped up radically.

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