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2012 NCAA Tournament Preview: Raleigh Regional

1. NC State (39 – 17)
2. Vanderbilt (33 – 26)
3. UNC Wilmington (38 – 21)
4. Sacred Heart (25 – 30)

#4 – Sacred Heart (25 – 30)

Sacred Heart is making its third NCAA Tournament appearance and the Pioneers second in two years. Concluding regular season play with a 19 – 13 record, Sacred Heart claimed the number two seed in the Northeast Conference tournament and secured the conferences automatic bid with a 5-1 title series win over Monmouth University. Junior RHP Troy Scribner (7-5, 4.04) is expected to go against the Wolfpack on Friday. Lefty Nick Leiningen (6-5, 4.12) and righty Kody Kerski (4-4, 4.90) will likely round out the number two and three starter roles in the Pioneers following two games. The staff has a combined 4.26 ERA and opponents are batting .272. The catalyst of the Pioneers offense is Junior infielder John Murphy, among everyday players Murphy leads the team in batting average and hits, and is tied for second in doubles. Sophomore Catcher Dan Perez is second on the team in average and hits. Perez comes into the Raleigh regional with a .320 batting average, 54 Hits, 14 Doubles and 1 Homerun. For the season the Pioneers are hitting .272.

#3 – UNC Wilmington (38-21)

UNC Wilmington will be entering the Raleigh Regional as the number three seed after beating the University of Delaware 10-8 in the championship game of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. This will be the Seahawks fifth Regionals appearance and first since 2008 when they lost to eventual College World Series Semifinalist North Carolina 7-3 in the Carey Regional Championship. UNCW finished up the regular season with a 24-6 record giving them the best regular season record since 2008 when they went 25-3-1. UNCW is led by ALL-COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION first team selections Andrew Cain, Thomas Pope and Tyler McSwain. Pope led the Seagulls in average (.381), hits (83), doubles (18), triples (7), slugging percentage (.583) and on- base percentage (.452). Finishing the regular season among the nations leaders in batting average, hits, and doubles. Fellow Senior outfielder Andrew Cain (.313 BA/10 HR/41 RBI) and left fielder Tyler Molinarlo (.274 BA/ 15 HR/ 44 RBI) combine for a pretty impressive trio of run producers along with six other second and third team ALL- COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION selections. Tyler McSwain (9-3, 3.12) is the unsung ace of the Seagulls staff and opponents are batting .258 off the Senior RHP. The Seagulls are likely to start McSwain against Vanderbilt this Friday, leaving Matt Batts (6-4, 2.59) and Jordan Ramsey (3-2, 4.36) to round out the three-man rotation. The Seagulls pitching staff as whole has a combined ERA of 5.27 and opponents are hitting .302.

#2 Vanderbilt (33-26)

Vanderbilt will make its 11th NCAA Regional appearance and looks to make it back to Omaha after an early exit thanks to College World Series runners up the University of Florida. Southpaw Sam Selman (9-3, 3.33 ERA) is the projected starter this Friday against UNC Wilmington. Rounding out the back end of Vanderbilt’s starting rotation will be Drew VerHagen (6-2, 3.36 ERA), Tyler Beede (1-5, 4.48 ERA), and Kevin Ziomek (5-6, 4.97 ERA). The Vanderbilt pitching staff carries a 3.92 ERA and opponents are hitting .266 against the Commodores. First team ALL SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE selection Anthony Gomez (.354 BA/84 H/51 RBI) pilots the Dores offense and leads the team in hits and rbi. Those helping the Commodore shortstop with the offense are Junior Inf/Of Conrad Gregor (.321 BA/69 H/17 2b) and Sophomore Of/Inf Tony Kemp (.267 BA/60 H/8 3b). The commodores are coming off a loss to Mississippi State in the championship of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

#1 North Carolina State (39-17)

The NC State Wolfpack enter the Raleigh Regional as the number one seed and an RPI of 12. NC State Head Coach Elliot Avent is making his twelfth NCAA Regional appereance and his first since 2008. Although, the Wolfpack lost in the ACC tournament to instate foe North Carolina, they still will be hosting their own regional for the third time in school history. Led by ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE Pitcher Of The Year and also ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE Freshmen Of The Year Carlos Rodon (9-0, 1.46 ERA) the Wolfpack will face Sacred Heart this Friday in their first round game of the Raleigh Regional. The probable starter for game one of the regional will likely be Ethan Ogburn (4-3, 3.01 ERA) which means Carlos Rodon will get game two of the regional. Ogburn has more experience then Rodon, and probably will be pitching with a chip in hopes of making up for last years collapse against Stetson. State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first three innings against Stetson, but Ogburn couldn’t hold on to the lead as the Hatters fought back to an 8-7 victory in Columbia, S.C. The Wolfpack offense is led by Chris Diaz (.364 BA/84 H/23 2b/50 RBI), Ryan Matthews (.330 BA/63 H/15 2b/14 HR) and Trea Turner (.345 BA/77 H/4 HR/39 RBI). Each putting up good enough numbers to lead the team to a RPI of 12 and two first team All ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE first team selections and one All ATLTANTIC COAST CONFERENCE second team selection.


1. Vanderbilt
2. NC State
3. UNC Wilmington
4. Sacred Heart

  • guest

    Why would you take Vandy over State, when State can use Rodon in the 2nd game?

  • Guest

    SEC dominates ACC every year, why wouldn’t he pick Vandy over State ?

  • Vandy Fan

    With Vandy playing I predict a very low scoring game so I would say it is a toss-up as to who wins, State or Vandy.

  • Vandy Fan

    With Vandy playing I predict a very low scoring game so I would say it is a toss-up as to who wins, State or Vandy.

  • mike

    go wilmington!

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