Kyle Peterson knows what it takes for a college baseball team to reach the College World Series -- and what it takes to win once a team gets to Omaha.
And Peterson says he's impressed by the Virginia baseball team.
"When you get to this point, when you try to look and see what are the holes, where can you poke holes in somebody," said the ESPN college baseball analyst. "And the reality with UVa is you really can't."
As a player, Peterson pitched for Stanford teams that reached the CWS in 1995 and 1997. He's been part of ESPN's on-air coverage of the series for the past decade.
Peterson says he saw the Cavaliers in person once this season, and has watched UVa on television several additional times -- including throughout their postseason run the past few weeks.
"It's funny because at the beginning of the year, everybody's talking about Virginia's offense, and how great their offense is going to be," he said. "And then you look at their defensive numbers, and you look at their pitching numbers at the end of the year. And that to me is the thing that's the scariest, is that all three phases -- pitching, defense, and offense -- they're pretty darn good."
UVa has spent the season ranked among the national leaders in both team ERA (fifth in the country at 2.31 entering Sunday's game against Ole Miss) and fielding percentage (currently .982, good for third in the country). And after hitting .277 during the regular season, the Wahoos have hit .316 as a team through their first six NCAA Tournament games.
The Cavaliers have beaten opponents in a number of ways throughout the season -- an ability that Peterson says a team needs to have at this point.
"You can't come in here and be one-dimensional," he said. "And the one thing that (UVa coach Brian O'Connor) has is, they never have to be one-dimensional. They can run a little bit if they need to run. There's some thump there, so if you get the right day where the ball's going to travel, they can hit the ball out of the ballpark. They out-pitch you."
UVa began the season ranked No. 1 in the country, and spent most of the season atop the Baseball America national rankings. They enter CWS play as the No. 3 national seed in the tournament -- the highest seed left in the field.
O'Connor said earlier this week that his team is built to win in Omaha -- an assessment Peterson agrees with.
"All the things that you would worry about, as to where there's somewhere that somebody could try to expose them, you really can't expose them. So for a team that's built to win in Omaha, I think it's that," Peterson explained. "When you look at it and say, "It's a pretty complete club." And there's nothing from a scouting report that you can look at it and say, "Okay, we can go there." I don't know if that exists."