A late season surge has given Missouri the opportunity to host at least one weekend of NCAA postseason play. The Tigers will be welcoming second-seeded Miami, on a roll themselves, as well as both Louisville and Kent State. That survivor will then take on the winner from Fayetteville next weekend. Arkansas, the top seed at home and the seventh overall national seed, will see Creighton, Oklahoma State, and Albany make their way to town this weekend. Are the Tigers and Hogs on a collision course, or will someone else break up the party?
COLUMBIA, MO REGIONAL
vs Fayetteville Regional
(1) Missouri (40-16)
It’s been a great season for the Tigers, who finished a surprising second in the Big 12 at 19-8. Despite a 1-2 showing in the Big 12 tournament, they were still chosen to host a regional for the first time since 1965.
(2) Miami (36-22)
Miami was penciled in as a potential title contender, but finished in the middle of the pack in the ACC. This is the second straight year the Hurricanes go to a Big 12 school for the postseason, having gone to Nebraska a year ago.
(3) Louisville (40-20)
The 2007 season has been a historic one for Louisville. The Cardinals, under first-year coach Dan McConnell, have won a school-record 40 games, and make only their second regional appearance in school history. The Cards finished third in the Big East with a 19-8 record, one game behind St. John‘s and Rutgers, and went 2-2 in the Big East tourney.
(4) Kent State (33-24)
The Golden Flashes captured the Mid-American‘s Eastern Division title with a 19-8 record, then won four in a row to win the automatic bid, knocking off #1 seed Eastern Michigan twice in the process. The Golden Flashes enter their first postseason appearance since 2004 on a hot streak, having won 16 of their last 17 games.
Coastal Carolina was selected to host an NCAA Regional in Myrtle Beach SC at the home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. They will be joined by Clemson, St. John’s, and Virginia Commonwealth.
Coastal Carolina comes in as a number 1 seed and hosting the Regional for the first time after going 48-11 this spring. They are led by David Sappelt who is hitting .366 with 49 RBI. Coastal Carolina’s top starting pitcher is Bobby Gagg who went 11-2 with a 2.75 ERA. They open up against Virginia Commonwealth at 4 pm on Friday.
Coastal Carolina Tourney Notes
The Tigers (38-21) enter the weekend after winning two out of three games in the ACC Tournament but did not advance as they lost the tiebreaker to Wake Forest. They are led by Brad Chaulk who has a .385 average in forty games this season. He is also getting on base at a .514 clip. The Tigers are led by All-American closer Daniel Moskos who was moved to the starting rotation halfway through the year. He has a 3-5 record with a 3.12 ERA. Clemson opens the tournament against St. John’s at noon on Friday.
Clemson Tourney Notes
The Red Storm (40-17) recieved an at-large berth out of the Big East. Gil Zayas is leading the team in hitting with a .363 batting average. Bryan Kemp also has a .361 batting average to give the Red Storm two solid hitters. George Brown has made 13 starts this season accumulating a 6-2 record and a 2.93 ERA.
St. John’s Tourney Notes
The Rams (37-21) are led by Jared Bolden who has a .393 average with 49 RBI. He has also stolen 17 bases throughout the season. Phillip Deane leads the starters in ERA at 4.02. He only has a 3-5 record on the season. Luke Pisker leads the team in ERA at 1.87 and has a 9-1 overall record including 11 saves.
VCU Tourney Notes
The CBB predicts that Clemson will come through the regional with superior talent.
FROM UCONN PRESS RELEASE
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (May 26, 2007) - Bidding to become the first team in BIG EAST Tournament history to lose its first game and then go on to win the championship, the University of Connecticut baseball team fell just short of etching its name in the conference record books as the No. 8 seed Huskies fell to second-seeded Rutgers, 7-6, Saturday afternoon from KeySpan Park.
Despite the loss, UConn's appearance in the championship game marked the lowest seed in BIG EAST Tournament history to reach the final game. In addition, the 2007 league tournament featured a conference-best four total shutouts through the course of the week. UConn boasts two of the four shutouts as the Huskies blanked USF in two consecutive games Friday to reach the championship game.
UConn held a Rutgers offense that entered the championship game averaging 11.4 hits per game during the tournament to just six hits, but also committed three errors in the field. In fact, the Huskies out-hit Rutgers by an 11-6 tally.
The Huskies continued to battle and nearly completed an improbable comeback as the Huskies rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning. Senior first baseman Matt Untiet (Berlin, Conn.) singled through the right side to start the inning before coming around to score on the following play as junior third baseman Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) laced a double into left field to chase starting pitcher Steve Healing. After the next Husky was retired on a groundout, senior right fielder Josh Farkes (Boston, Mass.) doubled into left-center field to drive in Mahoney. Junior center fielder Gordon Stevens (Vista, Calif.) singled to center on the next play to put runners on the corners, and both runners advanced one base on a balk. On the following play, freshman left fielder Pete Fatse (Hampden, Mass.) homered to right field to pull the Huskies within one. Sophomore second baseman Dale Brannon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) next reached with a bloop single into center field, but Scarlet Knight reliever Kevin Lillis retired the next to batters to preserve the win for Rutgers.
Backed by an early lead, Rutgers starting pitcher Steve Healing pitched eight innings and allowed three runs on seven hits to earn his 10th win of the season. Lillis earned the save for his third of the season.
Husky freshman starting pitcher Robert Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y.) suffered the loss despite an effective outing on just three days rest. Van Woert allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits in four innings on the hill.
Rutgers (41-19) struck first in the contest as the Scarlet Knights plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Both BIG EAST Player of the Year Todd Frazier and second baseman Mike Bionde drew walks to open the frame. Husky starting pitcher Robert Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y.) retired the next two hitters on fly outs to left field to keep both runners on their respective bases. On the following play, Rutgers scored its first run of the inning on a throwing error charged to Husky catcher Larry Day (Amesbury, Mass.) attempting to catch Bionde stealing second base. After first baseman Tom Edwards drew a walk to put runners on the corners, designated hitter Jon Gossard hit an RBI single into left field to score Bionde. In addition, Edwards came around to score as Husky right fielder Josh Farkes (Boston, Mass.) was charged with a fielding error.
Connecticut (34-27) answered with a run in the top of the second inning to cut the Rutgers lead to just two. Junior third baseman Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) laced a single off Healing's glove, allowing the ball to trickle into an empty area on the infield. After taking second on a fielder's choice, Mahoney came around to score on the following play as Farkes ripped an RBI double into the right field corner.
Frazier, the 2007 BIG EAST Tournament Jack Kaiser Award Winner, put the Scarlet Knights ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning with his conference-leading 22nd home run of the season. Four batters later, Edwards delivered an RBI double to deep center field to give Rutgers a four-run edge.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rutgers tacked on another two runs on a two-run home run into left-center field from catcher Frank Meade to put the Scarlet Knights up 7-1.
Individually, Farkes paced the Huskies at the plate with a 3-for-4 showing with two RBIs, while Mahoney, Fatse and Brannon also chipped in with two hits apiece.
UConn 8 St. John’s 7 (Final)
UConn senior first baseman Matt Untiet hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the ninth to give the Huskies an 8-7 walkoff victory over St. John’s in an elimination game. Matt Karl (2-2) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to get the victory. Colin Lynch (1-1) got the loss for the Red Storm by giving up two runs in 2.2 innings. St. John’s is eliminated from the tournament and will await a possible NCAA tourney berth while UConn will play USF on Friday at 1 pm. The Huskies have to knock off USF twice tomorrow to advance to the Big East Championship game.
St. John’s Recap
Rutgers 11 Villanova 0
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights got a fabulous start from Matt Giannini who pitched a complete game while scattering eleven hits as they cruised to an 11-0 victory over Villanova in an elimination game. Todd Frazier went 4-6 with two RBI and three runs scored. Villanova ends their season with a 29-25 record while Rutgers takes on Louisville at 10 am and need to beat the Cardinals twice to advance to the championship game on Saturday.
Remember, The Big East is providing free webcasts which can be accessed by clicking here.
Villanova 3 Notre Dame 2
Jim Gillin hit a solo homer in the fourth inning which proved to be the winning run as the Villanova Wildcats eliminated Notre Dame from the Big East Tournament. Villanova got a solid pitching performance from Jordan Ellis as he allowed both runs in his seven innings of work. Josh Eidell picked up the save by pitching two perfect innings including a save.
Notre Dame Recap
UConn 5 Pittsburgh 2
The UConn Huskies got eight strong innings from Matt Tarsi as they knocked the Pittsburgh Panthers out of the Big East Tournament. The Huskies were led on offense by Dennis Donavan who hit a two run homer in the third inning. The Panthers top offensive threat on the day was Dan Lopez who went 3-4.
USF 2 St. John’s 0
Chris Delaney held the Red Storm to only two hits in 6.1 innings as his USF Bulls picked up a 2-0 victory over St. John’s in the Big East Tournament. Dexter Butler and Addison Maruszak each got an RBI to account for all the runs in the game. Brendan Monaghan got two hits for St. John’s as he was the only player in the game to have multiple hits.
St. John’s Recap
Louisville 8 Rutgers 1
Louisville starter Justin Marks gave up only 1 run in six innings to lead his Cardinals to an 8-1 victory over Rutgers. Kyle Hollander and Trystan Magnuson combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief. Louisville was led on offense by Chris Dominguez who went 3-5 with 2 RBI.
The Big East is continuing their free webcast of the championships which can be viewed by clicking here.
The Big East Conference Tournament starts on Tuesday in Brooklyn NY. The top 8 teams are invited to the tournament and split into two different double elimination brackets. The two winners will meet on Saturday for a winner take all championship game. The full brackets are available here. The Big East Tournament starts at 10 am on Tuesday with Louisville taking on Villanova. At 1 pm, Rutgers will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The last two games on the opening day will take place at 5 pm with Pittsburgh playing University of South Florida and the number 1 seeded St. John’s Red Storm playing UConn at 8 pm in the nightcap. CSTV has provided a full preview of the tournament which is available at this link.
The entire tournament can be watched for free by clicking here. Thanks to the Big East for providing free video of the tournament.
Aaron Fitt of Baseball America has recently posted an article about the Big East conference, Houston Cougars, and the Minnesota Gophers. The full article is available here.
Aaron also did a chat about the new Top 25 that Baseball America released Monday. He discusses many different teams and issues in college baseball. The full chat can be read here.
Player of the Week-Jorge Castillo(Louisville); Castillo batted .500 with 10 RBIs and 1 homer in Louisville’s sweep over West Virginia.
Pitcher of the Week-Paul Nardozzi(Pittsburgh); Nardozzi threw his second of back to back complete game shut outs.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Sean Conley, Pittsburgh, OF, Jr.
Went 6-for-7 in two wins over Notre Dame.
Casey Gaynor, Rutgers, RHP, Fr.
Pitched a complete game and got the win against St. John’s (4/1).
Walter Diaz, USF, SS, Jr.
Batted .455 and collected seven RBIs in a 4-1 week.
Dan Terpak, Villanova, 1B, Jr.
Posted an average of .545 at the plate and collected eight RBIs Seton Hall.
Justin Jenkins, West Virginia, OF, Sr.
Batted .842 with three RBIs for the week.
Big East Standings
BIG EAST Overall
W L T Pct. W L T Pct.
Louisville 5 1 0 .833 19 8 0 .704
Rutgers 4 2 0 .667 13 12 0 .520
USF 6 3 0 .667 22 9 0 .710
Pittsburgh 5 3 0 .625 11 12 0 .478
West Virginia 3 3 0 .500 15 8 0 .652
Villanova 3 3 0 .500 12 10 0 .545
St. John’s 3 3 0 .500 12 11 0 .522
Connecticut 3 3 0 .500 12 12 0 .500
Cincinnati 2 4 0 .333 14 13 0 .519
Georgetown 2 4 0 .333 12 16 0 .429
Notre Dame 1 4 0 .200 12 14 0 .462
Seton Hall 1 5 0 .167 8 14 0 .364
Big East Website
Georgetown 8, Cincinnati 2 (Washington D.C.)- Georgetown Recap
St. John’s 5, Rutgers 1 (Queens, NY)-Rutgers Recap
Villanova 7, Seton Hall 6 (Villanova, PA)-Seton Hall Recap
Louisville 4, West Virginia 3 (Louisville, KY)-Louisville Recap
Pittsburgh 4, Notre Dame 2 (Pittsburgh, PA)-Notre Dame Recap
South Florida 16, Connecticut 1 (Storrs, Conn)-UConn Recap
South Florida 3, Connecticut 0 (Storrs, Conn)-UConn Recap
Villanova 15, Seton Hall 7 (Villanova, PA)-Seton Hall Recap
Cincinnati 11, Georgetown 3 (Washington, D.C)-Georgetown Recap
St. Johns 10, Rutgers 7 (Queens, NY)-Rutgers Recap
Pittsburgh 5, Notre Dame 0 (Pittsburgh, PA)-Notre Dame Recap
Louisville 16, West Virginia 5 (Louisville, KY)-Louisville Recap
Seton Hall 5, Villanova 3 (Villanova, PA)-Seton Hall Recap
Connecticut 6, South Florida 2 (Storrs, Conn)-UConn Recap
Georgetown 6, Cincinnati 5 (Washington, D.C)-Georgetown Recap
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh-Canceled
Rutgers 8, St. Johns 3 (Queens, NY)-Rutgers Recap
Louisville 9, West Virginia 8 (Louisville, KY)-Louisville Recap
Sorry I couldn’t write recaps some personal things came up that I had to take care of. I’ll be back on it next week.