Vols at Georgia Tech
They are looking to go to their fourth CWS qualifying in 1951, 1995, and in 2001. They have a team which is led by one of the best pitchers in the country in Luke Hochevar (15-2 2.13 ERA 140 K’s). As you expect, he dominated the SEC throughout and will likely win the game in which he starts. The Vols top offensive threat is Eli Iorg who has a batting average of .390 with 15 homers and 70 RBIs. He only saw limited action in the Regional due to an injury to his foot. He hopefully will be back for the Super Regional in a full capacity or UT might be in some major trouble.
The ACC Regular Season and Postseason Champs Georgia Tech look to be the best team because they have it all. They have solid starting pitching and an excellent offense. Sophomore 3B Wes Hodges leads the Jackets in hitting with a .404 BA with Tyler Greene being the second option with his .373 Average, 72 RBI’s, and 12 homers. Greene was selected by the St Louis Cardinals with the 30th overall pick. The top three starters for the Georgia Tech team are Lee Hyde, Blake Wood, and Ryan Turner have a combined record of 24-7 and a 3.74 ERA.
Baseball America’s take on Greene
Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene’s swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn’t incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.
I believe with the pitching depth of the Jackets that they win this series in 2 quick games.
Clemson at Baylor
Clemson comes into this series on a hot streak by winning 14 out of their last 16 games. They dominated their regional by only letting up 5 runs in the three games they played. They are led by DH Kris Harvey who is hitting .342 this year with a nice total of 24 HRs. The hottest pitcher for them has been Josh Cribb who is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in his last four starts.
Baylor enters this series after a tough weekend of bad weather in Waco. They are lead by Mark McCormick who is 7-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season. Senior Catcher Josh Ford is their top offensive weapon with his .322 average which leads the team. These are very low numbers for a team leader and could spell issues for the Baylor offense.
My prediction is that Clemson wins the series 2 games to 1.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
Arizona State is not going to win this series because they have to face the potent lineup of Cal State Fullerton. Ricky Romero who was the number 6 overall pick of the Blue Jays will dominate this Sun Devil team. Romero has a 12-5 record with a 132 K’s in 125 innings. He is the best pitcher in the game and is battle tested for an example just look at the CWS from last year when Romero pitched very well in Omaha. He won two games in the CWS including Game 1 of the Championship series. Ronnie Prettyman is hitting .333 this year with 13 SBs.
Baseball America’s Take on Ricky Romero
Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game.
This CSF team is well rounded and will beat the Sun Devils in 2 games.