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2011 NCAA Santa Clara Super Regional: Dallas Baptist vs Cal

The Cal Bears will host the 2011 Super Regional matchup against Dallas Baptist at Santa Clara University. Cal won the Houston Regional by going on a four game winning streak losing to Baylor in their opener before fighting through the loser’s bracket which included beating Baylor twice. Dallas Baptist went 3-1 in the Fort Worth Regional eliminating two 2010 CWS particpants in Oklahoma and TCU before losing to Oral Roberts. They bounced back from the Oral Roberts loss by defeating them in a winner take all game.

Dallas Baptist (42-18)

Best Pitcher: Brandon Williamson (10-3, 3.98 ERA)
Best Hitter: Jason Krizan (.419, 39 2B, 10 HR, 81 RBI)

Strength: The Patriots strength is obvious: their bats. Dallas Baptist features All-American OF Jason Krizan, a player who was on very few radars until this season. The NCAA-single season doubles record holder has been the cog that pushed DBU into the postseason, and helped get them to their first Super Regional. Aside from Krizan, Landon Anderson and Tyler Robbins have also proven to be major offensive pieces for this team.

Weakness: Pitching depth is a major problem for Dallas Baptist. Only one reliever has an ERA under 4.00, and only closer Chris Haney and setup man Michael Smith have made more than 20 relief appearances.

Dallas Baptist will win if…Brandon Williamson and Jared Stafford give the Patriots strong and long outings on the mound. DBU needs to rely on their bullpen as few times as possible to make it to Omaha.

Dallas Baptist will lose if…Jason Krizan struggles at the plate. On paper, there is nothing that says Krizan will struggle, but without his bat being effective, this team’s production can fall off quickly.

Cal (35-21)

Best Pitcher: Erik Johnson (6-4, 2.91 ERA)
Best Hitter: Tony Renda (.335, 3 HR, 41 RBI)

Strength: Seven pitchers on the Cal pitching staff have made ten or more appearances on the year while the team has a staff ERA of 2.88.

Weakness: The Cal bats are clearly the biggest weakness with a team batting average of .286 with four everyday players hitting above .300.

Cal will win if…the pitching staff continues to pitch well.

Cal will lose if…the bats do not come alive against a very shallow pitching staff in Dallas Baptist.