Super Regional Preview: UC-Irvine at Wichita State


Wichita State and UC Irvine weren’t garnering a lot of respect about this time last week as the Shockers were being frowned upon as the final of sixteen host site selections, while the Anteaters were assumed to be just a small bump in the road for Texas in the Round Rock Regional. And while WSU did stumble in their postseason opener, they bounced back to win at home and earn the right to host UCI this weekend, a team that beat the homestanding Longhorns twice last weekend to advance to this point. Though it may not be one of the more glamorous Super Regionals on this year’s slate, it certainly is one of the more evenly matched series of the weekend.

Starting Pitching

The ace and opening night guy for the Wichita State staff is Travis Banwart, who has put together a 10-5 record and 2.68 ERA this season. After leaving last weekend’s opener early, he came back to pitch (and win) the regional-clinching finale against Arizona. Rob Musgrave, the Shockers’ number two pitcher, is not too shabby himself with a 10-2 mark and 2.71 ERA. In the event of a third game, WSU would likely turn to Anthony Capra (7-0, 1.54). For UC Irvine, meanwhile, Wes Etheridge and Scott Gorgen have been tremendous all year long. The former is 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA, while the latter has put together an 11-2 record and 2.91 ERA. In game three last week, the Anteaters went with Eric Pettis (4-0, 3.91). Considering that both squads have tremendous number one and two starters, there’s no way to give either a huge advantage coming into the weekend.


As mentioned before, this Super matchup won’t receive the same national attention as several others, but it is indeed one of the most evenly matched pairings of the eight. The starting pitching from these two teams is stellar, and each has a guy who can come in and shut the door when they take a lead into the final inning.

So with that in mind, the winner in Wichita will likely be decided by who has the hot bats. If one team can solve the other’s star pitcher early on, they’ll likely find themselves in a good position late in the game, allowing them to bring in their stud closer to shut things down.

SouthernCollegesports.com

Wichita State Preview
UC-irvine Preview

Super Regional Preview: Clemson at MSU


The Clemson Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will meet with a berth in the College World Series on the line. The games will be played in Starkville Mississippi at Dudy Noble Field, Polk-Dement Stadium starting on Friday at 12 pm on ESPN, Saturday at 12 pm on ESPN 2, and Sunday at 1 pm also on ESPN.

Clemson (41-21)

The Clemson Tigers went to the Myrtle Beach Regional and had a perfect weekend after defeating St. John’s 3-2, Coastal Carolina in the winner’s bracket 11-8, and played Coastal Carolina again in the Regional Championship in which they beat them again 15-3. The Tigers are led by head coach Jack Leggett who is 649-280 in his 14 seasons at Clemson. He was also the head coach at Western Carolina for nine years and Vermont for five seasons. His career record at all schools combined is 1026-570. The Tigers offense is led by catcher Doug Hogan who is hitting .339 for the season which is top on the team. Andy D’Alessio leads the Tigers with 16 homers on the season. Daniel Moskos leads the pitching staff as he made the transition from closer to the starting rotation in the middle of the season. He has only a 3-5 record with a 2.91 ERA. Ryan Hinson (6-2, 2.61 ERA) and David Kopp (6-2, 3.57 ERA) round out the rotation with D.J. Mitchell (5-0, 3.27 ERA) as a solid fourth starter. The Tigers have only said that Daniel Moskos will start Game 1.

Clemson Tourney Notes

Clemson Season Stats

Mississippi State (36-20)

The Bulldogs were the champions on the Tallahassee Regional after defeating Stetson 6-3, Florida State 3-0, and in the Regional Championship defeated the Seminoles again this time 9-4. The Bulldogs are led by legendary head coach Ron Polk who has been with Mississippi State for 28 years in two different stints. He has accumulated an 1,114-555-2 all-time record at MSU and has a career record of 1,348-667-2 with stints at Georgia and Georgia Southern included. The Bulldogs offense is led by Brandon Turner who is hitting .400 in 51 games. Edward Easley is second on the team with a .367 batting average while leading the team with 12 homers. The Bulldog pitching staff is led by lefty Justin Pigott who pitched seven innings while only giving up three hits in the 3-0 victory over the Seminoles. He has a 6-6 record with a 4.31 ERA. Chad Crosswhite will start the opening game of the Super Regional with his 8-4 record with a 4.16 ERA. Aaron Weatherford picked up a save last weekend against FSU as he has four saves on the season with a 3.34 ERA.

Mississippi State Series Notes
Mississippi State Season Stats

Pitching Match-ups

Friday: CU Daniel Moskos (3-5, 2.91 ERA) vs MSU Chad Crosswhite (8-4, 4.16 ERA)
Saturday: CU TBA vs MSU Justin Pigott (6-5, 4.31 ERA)
Sunday: CU TBA vs MSU TBA

The CBB predicts that Clemson takes the Super Regional in three games behind a solid weekend from Andy D’Alessio.

Super Regional Preview: South Carolina at UNC


The South Carolina Gamecocks head north to take on Regional rivals North Carolina in a Super Regional showdown. The winner of the best of three series will head to the College World Series in Omaha NE. The games will be played at 7 pm Friday on ESPN, 7 pm Saturday on ESPN, and 7 pm Sunday on ESPN 2 (if necessary).

South Carolina (45-18)

The Gamecocks are coming off a perfect regional with victories over Wofford 9-1 in the opening game then defeated Charlotte in the winner’s 12-8 and then in the Regional Championship they took on the 49ers again by knocking them off 11-6. South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner is in his 11th season at SC with a 499-218 record. He was at NC State for nine years before moving to SC as his overall record as a head coach is 894-391-3 in 20 years. He leads one of the top hitting teams in the country this season in which his team has a batting average of .302. The team is led by the potential number 1 draft pick in 2008 in Justin Smoak. He wowed scouts and players in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2006. The CBB was also impressed by him last season when he saw Cotuit play Hyannis. Smoak is hitting .317 with 21 HR and 69 RBI. He is not the only power threat on the team as James Darnell leads the team in hitting with a .335 BA and 18 HR on the year. Phil Disher is also a potent hitter with a .327 BA and 15 HR. The South Carolina pitching staff is led by Harris Honeycutt who sports only an 8-5 record and 3.59 ERA. Arik Hempy (6-3, 3.38 ERA) and Mike Cisco (6-2, 3.76 ERA) round out the pitching staff. Jeff Jeffords leads the team with five saves. He sports an ERA of 2.87 and a record of 6-1 in 22 appearances.

South Carolina Game Notes
South Carolina Season Stats

North Carolina (51-12)

The North Carolina Tar Heels also had a perfect regional with victories over Jacksonville 6-0, East Carolina 11-10, and Western Carolina 6-5. The Tar Heels needed ninth inning rallies in the East Carolina and Western Carolina games but were able to survive. The Tar Heels are led by ninth year head coach Mike Fox who has a 392-172-1 record in his career at his alma mater. He was the head coach Wesleyan for 15 years to put his career record as a head coach at 932-313-5 in 24 years. The Tar Heels are making returning to the Super Regional round after making the College World Series final series eventually losing to Oregon State. They are led by freshman sensation Dustin Ackley who leads the team in hitting with a .427 batting average. He has also hit seven homers on the season. Tim Fedroff is also a freshman and is second on the team with a .363 batting average. Robert Woodard leads the starting pitchers with a 10-2 record and a 3.02 ERA. He is joined by Alex White (6-4, 3.87 ERA) and Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.46 ERA) who round out the starting pitchers. Fox has also been using Rob Wooten out of the bullpen as he has 38 appearances with a 5-1 record and a 2.38 ERA. Andrew Carignan is the closer for the Heels as he leads the team with 14 saves with an ERA of 1.53. He carries experience in pitching in the CWS last season.

UNC Series Notes

UNC Season Stats
News and Observer Article about Woodard
News and Observer Article about Boshamer Stadium

Pitching Match-ups

Friday: UNC Robert Woodard (10-2, 3.02 ERA) vs SC Harris Honeycutt (8-5, 3.59 ERA)
Saturday: UNC Alex White (6-4, 3.87 ERA) vs SC Arik Hempy (6-3, 3.38 ERA)
Sunday: UNC Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.46 ERA) vs SC Mike Cisco (6-2, 3.76 ERA)

The CBB predicts that South Carolina wins the Super Regional in three games as they take advantage of the UNC pitching staff.

Other Previews

UNC Scout.com
Greensboro News Record

Super Regional Preview: OK State at Louisville


The Louisville Cardinals will host Oklahoma State in a Super Regional this weekend. The games will be played on Friday at 2 pm ESPN 2, Saturday at noon ESPN U, and on Sunday at 4 pm ESPN (if necessary).

Oklahoma State (41-19)

The Cowboys head to Louisville coming off a perfect regional after defeating Creighton 6-4, then Arkansas twice 14-3 and 7-6. Oklahoma State is led by fourth year head coach Frank Anderson. He leads a team with a .326 team batting average including seven starters who are hitting above .312. Tyler Mach leads the team in average with a .401 batting average including 16 homers. Corey Brown leads the team with 21 homers. The College Baseball Blog had the chance to see Matt Mangini last summer in the Cape Cod League. I believe that he has a very good chance at playing at the next level if he can get better defensively. He is hitting .343 with nine homers on the year. According to some of my sources, Oklahoma State plays in a launching pad type stadium which might inflate the power numbers of the team. Joe Kent leads the pitching staff with a 4-2 record with a 3.42 ERA. Oliver Odle (7-4, 4.39 ERA) and Andrew Oliver (6-1, 5.18 ERA) round out the starting staff with more then ten starts. The Cowboys also have a solid closer in Justin Friend who leads the team with seven saves with a 6-3 record and a 2.36 ERA.

OK State Series Notes

OK State Season Stats

Louisville (44-21)

The Louisville Cardinals shocked the baseball world by heading to the Columbia (MO) Regional and coming away with a spot in a Super Regional. Louisville won their first game over Miami 13-7 before facing the host Missouri in the winners bracket. The Cardinals picked up a 7-5 deficit so that set up an elimination match-up with Miami in which Louisville survived a late Hurricane rally to get an 8-7 win then defeated the host Missouri 4-3 which sent the regional to Monday. Louisville jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning as they cruised to a 16-6 win. The Cardinals are led by first year head coach Dan McDonnell who inherited a solid team from former head coach Lelo Prado who left for South Florida after last season. The Cardinals are led offensively by Isiah Howes who leads the team with a .392 average and also in home runs with 16 on the season. Boomer Whiting is the catalyst for the offense with a solid .368 average but he does most of his damage on the base paths with an unbelievable 72 steals in 84 attempts. Chris Dominguez had a huge regional by hitting five homers in the final four games of the weekend. He had 7 RBI in the 16-6 clinching victory over Missouri. The Cardinals starting pitching is led by Zack Pitts (9-3, 2.37 ERA) and Justin Marks (8-2, 2.61 ERA). Trystan Magnuson leads the Cardinals with nine saves in 34 appearances. He also has a 1.02 ERA.

UL Season Stats
UL Series Notes

Pitching Match-ups

Friday: UL Zack Pitts (9-3, 2.37 ERA) vs OSU Oliver Odle (7-4, 4.39 ERA)
Saturday: UL Justin Marks (8-2, 2.61 ERA) vs OSU Joe Kent (4-2, 3.42 ERA)
Sunday: UL TBA vs OSU TBA

Other published previews of Super Regional

NewsOK

The College Baseball Blog predicts that Louisville wins the Super Regional in three games with a deeper pitching staff.

Berry named National Freshman Pitcher of Year

Rice freshman righthander Ryan Berry has been named the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, the newspaper announced on Wednesday. He is joined by Owls teammate Diego Seastrunk and Houston pitcher Wes Musick on the All-Freshman team. C-USA has produced at least three Freshman All-Americans in each of its 12 seasons.

Berry has produced a remarkable rookie campaign for the Owls as he was named First Team All-Conference USA and captured the league’s Freshman of the Year honor. Heading into this weekend’s super regional against Texas A&M, he is 11-2 with a 2.72 ERA. Berry has struck out 109 batters and walked just 30 in 109 innings. With 11 wins, Berry has tied the Rice freshman school record for victories, set by former first round draft pick Matt Anderson in 1995.

Berry becomes the seventh player from a current Conference USA school to earn National Freshman of the Year honors from at least one source since 1999. Included are four players from Rice.

Thoughts on NCAA Baseball Tourney


The game of College Baseball is starting to see a ton of parity. We have a Big East squad in Louisville making their first appearance in an NCAA Regional. They went into Missouri this weekend and defeated both Miami and Missouri twice. The Cardinals are just one of the northern teams that got through a regional as Michigan went into Vanderbilt and beat the Commodores twice. Vanderbilt was the number 1 overall seed in the tournament. The Texas Longhorns were also shocked by UC-Irvine and Arkansas went down to Oklahoma State. San Diego also went 0-2 in the Regional they hosted at San Diego State.

We also saw seven ACC teams receive bids to the NCAA Tournament but only two ended up getting into the next round of the tournament. The FSU Seminoles were a huge disappointment as they started the season with a perfect 23-0 record before losing to Jacksonville. The Seminoles were flawed as they did not have the pitching staff like the top teams in the country. They were exposed with only a two deep pitching staff in Bryan Henry and Michael Hyde. The history of the Seminoles have always been a strong hitting team but fail in the NCAA Tourney because of the lack of pitching depth. They have been to the CWS the most times without winning a title by making it 15 times to Omaha. Is it the coaching? I don’t think it is Mike Martin’s Sr. fault but his entire coaching staff needs to do a better job in recruiting better players. He needs to focus on getting some lights and pitchers that can dominate games like Jacob Thompson.

Tallahassee Democrat Article on Mike Martin and 2008

Virginia also bowed out of the tournament early this year but the injury bug hit the Cavaliers as they headed down the stretch. Greg Miclat had surgery on his torn labrum before the Boston College series while Brandon Guyer and Brandon Marsh each got injured in the NCAA Regional knocking them out of the NCAA Tournament. This meant the Cavaliers were missing a whole third of their lineup in which they were not able to overcome. The Cavaliers will lose All-American candidate Sean Doolittle but return Jacob Thompson who will headline the starting pitching rotation next season.

Daily Progress Article with O’Connor

I will be starting my Super Regional Previews on Wednesday and I expect to be done them by late Thursday evening so come back for some great Super Regional coverage.

2007 Super Regional TV Schedule

The NCAA has released the television schedule for the Super Regionals this weekend. The CBB will provide full previews of each Super Regional and will cover the NCAA Tourney in depth.

GAMES BEGIN FRIDAY, JUNE 8 – All Times are Eastern

Texas A&M (48-17) at No. 2 Rice (52-12)
7 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Oklahoma St. (41-19) at Louisville (44-21)
2 p.m. (ESPN2), Noon (ESPNU), 4 p.m. (ESPN)

Clemson (41-21) at Mississippi St. (36-20)
Noon (ESPN), Noon (ESPN2), 1 p.m. (ESPN)

South Carolina (45-18) at No. 3 North Carolina (51-12)
7 p.m. (ESPN), 7 p.m. (ESPN), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

The following four best-of-three super regionals will be played Saturday, June 9, Sunday, June 10, and Monday, June 11 (if necessary). The four winners will play their first MCWS games Saturday, June 16.

GAMES BEGIN SATURDAY, JUNE 9 – All times are Eastern

Michigan (42-17) at Oregon St. (42-18)
3 p.m. (ESPNU), 4 p.m. (ESPN), 7 p.m. (*ESPN or *ESPN2)

UCLA (33-26) at Cal St. Fullerton (36-23)
7 p.m. (ESPN), 10 p.m. (ESPN2), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Ole Miss (40-23) at No. 5 Arizona St. (46-13)
9 p.m. (ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

UC Irvine (43-15-1) at Wichita St. (53-20)
Noon (ESPN2), 1 p.m. (ESPN), *12:30 p.m. or *7 p.m. (*ESPN or *ESPN2)

(*Time and station will be determined after completion of Sunday’s games. Please consult www.NCAASports.com for updates on starting times)

Charlottesville Regional Championship


The Virginia Cavaliers and Oregon State Beavers are currently playing in the Regional Championship game in Charlottesville VA. The Cavaliers started Casey Lambert on the mound but he gave up five runs in 1.1 innings before being lifted for Jacob Thompson. He only lasted one inning while giving up 2 hits and two walks in relief. Oregon State was led by a strong game from transfer Jason Ogata who went 3-5 with four runs batted in. Oregon State now heads home to host Michigan for a Super Regional which starts on Saturday at 3 pm EST.

Oregon State Recap
Virginia Recap

Stretch run has USM feeling fine about future

After a dropping a second consecutive baseball game at Mississippi State in the last week of April, Southern Miss stood on shaky ground, just eight games over .500.

Four weeks later, the Golden Eagles had earned a fifth consecutive postseason invitation.

“A month ago, I don’t think anybody gave us a chance to be in a regional, much less a two seed,” USM coach Corky Palmer said.

While USM’s season ended with two losses in three games at both the Conference USA Tournament and the Oxford Regional, that stretch run of the regular-season left Palmer feeling good about the future of the Golden Eagles’ program.

“We’ve got a lot of good players coming back,” Palmer said. “We lost some good seniors, but we’re a young team, position-wise especially.

“It’s been a learning experience, and we’ll be better from it.”

Complete story

Bulldogs ready to host Super Regional


The next step on Mississippi State’s road to Omaha will be in Starkville.

The Bulldogs learned late Monday night that they’ll host a best-of-three Super Regional against Clemson at Dudy Noble Field this weekend. Games will be played Friday and Saturday with an if-necessary third game set for Sunday.

Times are likely be set today to accommodate television.

The matchup with Clemson was assured after the second-seeded Tigers beat Conway (S.C.) Regional host and No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina 15-3 Monday afternoon.

Since both MSU (36-20) and Clemson (41-21) were No. 2 seeds in their respective regionals, the determination of the host site was up to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, which MSU athletic director Larry Templeton chairs.

The committee voted to send the Super Regional to Starkville, MSU spokesman Mike Nemeth said.

Complete story