2010 NCAA Regional Previews: Gainesville

#1 Florida Gators

FloridaBaseball2 The Gators are looking to redeem themselves this season after dropping their Super Regional series to Southern Miss in 2009.  Leading the way offensively is Freshman 3B Austin Maddox, who leads the team with 17 HR and 66 RBI while batting .339.  Maddox shows he hits well in the clutch, with 32 of his 66 RBI coming with two out.  Matt dan Dekker has had half of his 44 RBI come with two outs as well, and also leads the team in stolen bases with 21.  Behind the plate, Freshman C Mike Zunino is reportedly 100% after sitting out during the SEC Tournament with a hand injury.   Last year’s Gator Triple Crown winner Preston Tucker is hitting .389 over his last 10 contests and hopes to ride the hot streak all the way through the Super Regionals.

On the mound, the Gators are led by the trio of Alex Panteliodis (9.2, 3.38 ERA), Freshman  RHP Hudson Randall (7-3, 2.90) and Freshman LHP Brian Johnson (5-4, 4.41)  Pitching is at a premium when you get to Omaha, and the Gators are loaded in the bullpen.  The Gator relievers are a combined 16-2 with 17 saves and a 4.34 ERA in 232.1 innings of work.

#2 Florida Atlantic

Florida Atlantic is led by 1B Dan Scheffler, whose 14 homeruns and 63 RBI lead the team, while two way player Andy Mee (OF/P) is the most valuable player on the squad hitting .388 with 8 homeruns, and helped Florida Atlantic to the Sun Belt regular season title by not surrendering an error in the field and also holding a 2.96 ERA and picking up 11 saves in 21 appearances on the mound.  Nick Delguidice  and Raymond Church both hit over .300 and hit 9 HR a piece.  Mike Gipson leads the Owls on the mound, with an 8-1 record and 3.40 ERA, logging 106 innings of work and giving up a paltry .228 BAA.  Ryan Garton (6-3, 4.72 ERA) and (3-1, 4.74 ERA) RJ Alvarez round out the rotation.

#3 Oregon State

Oregon State started the Pac-10 Season off in awful fashion with a 4-7 mark before recovering enough to finish the conference schedule out at 12-15.  The Beavers are led at the plate by JC Transfer Senior CF Adalberto Santos (.337, 10 HR, 35 RBI) and 3B Stefen Romero (.326, 13, 41 RBI).  On the mound, Friday starter Junior RHP Greg Peavey (5-4, 3.69 ERA) is given the responsibility of taking on FAU’s bats.  Tanner Robles (5-4, 3.43) and Sam Gavilglio (3-3, 4.65 ERA) are the top two starting pitchers. Matt Boyd has been great out of the bullpen all year posting a 7-1 record and 1.90 ERA in 20 appearances, all but 2 of those appearances are out of the pen.

#4 Bethune-Cookman

The Wildcats are headed to the NCAA Regionals for the 5th straight time, and for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons as the MEAC Champions.  Bethune Cookman went 0-2 in the Regional round last year with consecutive 1-run losses to Florida and Jacksonville.  Sophomore LHP Ali Simpson will be returning from his suspension from a shoving incident just in time for Florida, as the former Freshman All-American he is 6-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 65.1 innings pitched.  The Wildcats set a team record with 89 long balls this season, ranking 11th in the NCAA.  The main power sources were Junior 1B Ryan Durrence 18 HR and a team leading 70 RBI, while hitting .368, and Sophomore Catcher Peter O’Brien who slugged 20 HR and 56 RBI.  OF DJ Leonard (.429, 10 HR, 43 RBI) was named the MEAC Tournament MVP.  On the mound, the Wildcats are led by the aforementioned Ali Simpson as well as Juinor LHP Roman Lancara (4-2, 4.90 ERA) and closer/starting 2B Juan Perez (10 saves, 36 K’s, 31.1 IP)

Prediction

  1. Florida
  2. Oregon State
  3. Florida Atlantic
  4. Bethune-Cookman