Friday (6/6) News Links

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  1. HuskerFan31

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    Go Big Red!
     
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  3. HuskerFan31

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    ESPN: A different kind of roll call to this year's Sweet 16

    Who are these guys? Where are the Tigers? The Bulldogs? The Hurricanes? The Wildcats? Heck, even the Gamecocks? Where are the familiar names?

    The NCAA baseball championship super regional round has no LSU, no Florida State, no South Carolina. None of these names we've become accustomed to in recent years advanced past the round of 64.

    Instead we have Anteaters, Waves, Horned Frogs and Ragin' Cajuns. Tell me, what on earth is a Terrapin?

    This list of teams you don't recognize is another byproduct of parity. Kennesaw State, Pepperdine, College of Charleston -- not only are these bizarre names for baseball teams, this is a completely new venture for these guys. Louisiana-Lafayette, Maryland and Houston. They're nice places to visit, sure, but now these teams are 54 outs away from playing on the grand stage in Omaha. Yep, that's a fact, Jack.

    It's been as wild a ride as ever in getting to the final 16 teams still playing for a shot at the national championship. The regional round saw nine of the No. 1 seeds fall by the wayside. Five of those No. 1 teams were national seeds, too. This is what you get when 11.7 scholarships, deadened bats, scholarship distribution rules and a mid-major facilities upgrades take place: pure postseason chaos. And it's cool.

    In case you need a quick refresher course, this weekend we've got 16 finalists vying for eight spots in the College World Series, which begins June 14. All series are a best-of-three games format, with one game each day. The four super regionals on the left side of the bracket will start Friday, and the four on the right side will start Saturday.

    LEFT SIDE

    Stanford at Vanderbilt

    What to know: Freshman All-American Cal Quantrill (7-5, 2.69 ERA, 93 K's) and fellow freshman Brett Hanewich (4-4, 3.42, 43) lead a youthful Stanford pitching staff. In fact, 43 of the Cardinal's 58 games have had first-year starters on the mound.



    Vanderbilt has not had good luck at home in the postseason, losing in the regional round as the No. 1 overall seed in 2007 and also getting swept by Louisville in the 2013 Nashville Super Regional. The Dores did sweep both rounds on their way to Omaha in 2011, however, and swept their regional last weekend.

    Who to watch: Alex Blandino is a right-handed power bat for the Cardinal, having blasted 12 home runs (would've been more if not for Sunken Diamond's big field and tall fence). That 310-foot short porch in left field at The Hawk in Nashville will be a huge target for him.

    Beware if the Commodores get a little walk-happy. Their top four starters -- Tyler Beede, Carson Fulmer, Walker Buehler and Tyler Ferguson -- are world-class talents who can shut down any opponent, but in 50 combined starts, those four have accounted for 128 walks.

    Houston at Texas

    What to know: The Cougars have been here before, but it's been a long while. The last super appearance for Houston was in 2003. It lost a super regional at Texas in 2002, winning Game 1 2-0 before being shut down 17-2 and 5-2 by the Longhorns.



    After winning the regional title game versus Texas A&M on Monday, Texas coach Augie Garrido improved to 26-11 in NCAA tournament elimination games. That's a winning percentage of .703 when the season is on the line and third-best in NCAA tournament history.

    Who to watch: Kyle Survance hits .320 and leads Houston with 31 stolen bases. Speed will be a factor as the Cougars have stolen 85 bases on 111 attempts this year. Considering how big that Disch-Falk outfield is, look for singles to be stretched into doubles and doubles stretched into triples.

    Senior Mark Payton, who sports a .318 average, is the most advanced hitter on the Longhorns' squad. He is coming off a great Houston Regional in which he earned MVP honors after culling four hits, four runs scored and five walks.

    Kennesaw State at Louisville

    What to know: The Owls are cauldron-hot, winning 26 of their last 28 since April 6. Seven of those wins have been one-run games, so this team doesn't lack confidence when it gets to crunch time.



    Head coach Dan McDonnell has the Midas touch with this Louisville program, leading the Cardinals to their fourth super regional appearance in the last eight years.

    Who to watch: It all starts with KSU All-American Max Pentecost, who is second nationally in batting average (.423) and has nine home runs, 58 RBIs. And despite his position as Kennesaw State's catcher, Pentecost leads the Owls with 17 stolen bases, as well.

    On the Louisville side of things, the top two starters, Kyle Funkhouser (13-2, 1.68) and Anthony Kidston (8-0, 3.30), are stout, but they will have to carry the load with Saturday starter Jared Ruxer (7-1, 2.27) out for the remainder of the postseason.

    UC Irvine at Oklahoma State

    What to know: The Anteaters went to the College World Series in 2007 but have been a hard-luck story since. In both 2008 and 2011, they were one strike away from returning to Omaha, but fell to LSU and Virginia in heartbreaking fashion both times.



    The Cowboys' last trip to Omaha was in 1999. But it's been a steady climb back under second-year head coach Josh Holliday, who led them to 41 wins and the regional finals last year and 48 wins so far this year.

    Who to watch: The combination of starting pitcher Andrew Morales (10-2, 1.64, 128 K's) and saves ace Sam Moore (23 saves) for UC Irvine will be hard to beat Friday. It's a must-win for the Anteaters with those two on the hill.

    OSU has come from behind in 26 of their 48 wins this season. A good reason is that they allow very few late-inning runs, thanks to Brendan McCurry, who is 5-0 with a 0.39 ERA and 19 saves in 34 appearances.

    RIGHT SIDE

    Maryland at Virginia

    What to know: Although you could barely tell from their confident play in Columbia last weekend, this is uncharted territory for Maryland, having never played in a super regional and going to the postseason for the first time since 1971.



    Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are now veterans of postseason wars. This is their 11th straight year at NCAAs and fourth super regional appearance in the last five years.

    Who to watch: The Game 1 pitching matchup should be unreal with UVa's Nathan Kirby going up against Maryland's Jake Stinnett, who only went 7-6 but held opposing batters to a .192 average with 130 punchouts and four complete games this season.

    Look up power arm in the dictionary and you'll likely see Virginia bullpen stud Nick Howard. The Cavs stopper throws his 97 mph BBs to the tune of 19 saves and an amazing 50 K's in just 29.1 innings.

    College of Charleston at Texas Tech

    What to know: Yep, you heard right. College of Charleston is just the fourth No. 4 seed in history to make the super regional round. They've got history on their side, too, as two of the previous three No. 4s made it to Omaha in Fresno State (2008) and Stony Brook (2012).



    Tech is entering uncharted waters, as well. The Red Raiders have made nine NCAA tournament appearances, but none since 2004, and they have never played in a super regional.

    Who to watch: Charleston had the best pitching staffs in the Colonial with a team ERA of 2.78. They are paced by a pair of 10-game winners in Bailey Ober (10-2, 1.55 ERA, 81 K's) and Taylor Clarke (10-3, 2.62, 89).

    Tech had the best offense in the Big 12, led by power sticks Eric Gutierrez (Big 12-best 12 home runs) and Adam Kirsch (10 home runs and 20 doubles). The Raiders also led the loop with 23 triples on the year, most of them coming in their own Rip Griffin Park.

    Pepperdine at TCU

    What to know: After winning the 1992 national title with now head coach Steve Rodriguez at second base for the Waves, Pepperdine has gone to the NCAA tournament 12 times but never been this close to returning to Omaha.



    This has been a redemption season for the Frogs after going just 29-28 in 2013 despite being ranked in the preseason top 10 by some outlets. Now they are two wins away from their second CWS appearance.

    Who to know: Pepperdine has the Aaron brothers. OK, they're not really brothers, but Aaron Brown is the best two-way player in the country not named A.J. Reed, and Aaron Barnett is a Freshman All-American who leads the Waves with a .373 average.

    TCU counters with arguably the best pitching rotation in the country in Preston Morrison (9-3, 1.24), Brandon Finnegan (8-3, 2.07) and Tyler Alexander (10-3, 1.94). Plus Riley Ferrell (0.75, 14 saves) is one of the best closers in the field of 16.

    Ole Miss at Louisiana-Lafayette

    What to know: Unlike most of the rest of the super regional field, these two will be highly offensive teams. The Rebels do a little bit of everything, hitting .304 as a team, flashing some power with 39 home runs and stealing 90 bases.



    The Cajuns are trying to recapture the magic of the 2000 season, when they came out of nowhere to play in Omaha. But this time they are in the favorite role and are expected to make it. That might explain their tightness in the loss to Jackson State in the first game of their regional last week.

    Who to know: While their offense is dangerous, the Rebs also have nine everyday pitchers who sport a sub-3.00 ERA, led by the one-two combo of Chris Ellis and Christian Trent, who went a combined 19-1 with 135 strikeouts between them.

    The Cajuns have the No. 2 offense in the country and use the versatility of Caleb Adams (.387 AVG, 11 HRs, 45 BBs) and Jace Conrad (.377, 9 HRs, 22 SBs) to set the tone early and make their opponents play catch-up all game long.

    ESPN: A different kind of roll call to this year
     
  4. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: UC Irvine-Oklahoma State

    UC Irvine (38-23) at Oklahoma State (48-16)

    Friday: 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Saturday: 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Sunday: 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

    ucirvine
    UC Irvine
    Coach: Mike Gillespie.
    Postseason History: 4th super regional appearance. Seeking 2nd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in the Corvallis regional. Won three games, beating Oregon State 4-2 in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Jerry McClanahan R Jr. .325 .415 .366 1 35 27 26 3
    1B Connor Spencer L Jr. .364 .453 .485 1 43 22 24 7
    2B Grant Palmer R So. .278 .356 .311 0 13 21 30 3
    3B Taylor Sparks R Jr. .297 .383 .491 5 34 27 67 7
    SS Chris Rabago R Jr. .250 .335 .308 0 18 19 37 2
    LF Adam Alcantara R Fr. .319 .407 .319 0 6 2 11 1
    CF Justin Castro R Jr. .239 .286 .274 0 8 5 31 2
    RF Kris Paulino L Jr. .211 .350 .347 5 24 26 49 3
    DH Jonathan Munoz L So. .302 .361 .362 0 16 13 29 1
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Andrew Morales R Sr. 10 2 0 1.64 121 28 128 .182
    SP Elliot Surrey L So. 7 4 1 2.13 101 25 70 .232
    SP Evan Brock R Sr. 8 6 0 3.16 100 22 62 .272
    RP Sam Moore R Jr. 0 3 23 1.88 43 10 38 .223
    Scouting Report
    (anonymous coaches break down the Anteaters)

    Coach One: "Coach Gillespie's WAR is like 16. He's worth 16 wins per year. He's the highest on the West Coast?that's a no-brainer. I would challenge any other coach in the country to take the team he had and bring them to a super regional. A double squeeze (against Oregon State)? I haven't seen that since high school. I didn't even know people practiced that anymore. But it's great, he gets his guys to understand who they are. There's some talent there, but they've got those three guys (Sparks, Spencer and Morales), then the dropoff comes, and nobody knows anybody else's name on that team. There's nobody else on that team who's going to sign as a junior, probably. They pitch just like (UCI pitching coach Daniel) Bibona did. They just go out there with huge balls, pound strikes and work both sides of the plate. That guy Surrey reminds me of Bibona. Bibona's velocity got up higher than that, but just watching them on TV, his hat's down low, pitched across his body, fastball in, fastball away, breaking ball away. He lets go of the ball like, 'You're not going to hit it.' It was 85, 86. it's unbelievable. That's a neat deal there, I like them."

    Coach Two: "With the White Wizard (Gillespie), he's going to score runs. You do not have to hit in order for him to score runs. I'm not really surprised the way they played in the regional, because the fragility in college baseball with the players, man, one game can turn things around either way. You win one, you feel better about yourself, and next thing you know that thing snowballs in the right direction. I think that's what happened. They were hoping to get in, they got in, and why not? When you've got Morales on the mound, you can beat anybody. But to go through that thing with the lack of bullpen depth and Moore not being what he was early, that was probably a little bit surprising to a degree. Moore was just up with his split, and I think by now, everybody knows that it's one thing, and look for this. The trickery of the pitch, if you execute, then everything gets a little tougher. He could be one save away from being the guy again. It's that fickle.

    Andrew Morales
    Andrew Morales (Photo courtesy UC Irvine)
    "Morales is a real competitor, four pitches for strikes. He has already gotten punched in the face and recovered, in the Fullerton game. That was the first time he's faced any real adversity at the collegiate level. You knew he'd be fine if they got in. He's just a warrior, man. A true Friday night guy that's really, really good. I think he can get you out a lot of different ways: he can get you out chasing fastballs, he can get you out with the curveball, he can get you out with the slider. The only thing I would like to see him do and be more effective is pitch in. He only has one HBP the whole year. The approach we took on him was away, away.

    "Surry is just kind of crafty, a little sneakier than you think. He does pitch in. Soft away, fastball away, a little cutter/curveballish/slurve for a strike, then whack, throw the fastball in, and it looks harder than it is. He must have pitched well against Oregon State. He's not afraid of contact, he's going to pitch, going to be a little fine, got to be down to be successful. If he's righthanded, he's just another guy. But he's lefthanded. Brock is real mature, really good poise. The change is the best secondary pitch, you've got to see the fastball down. Throws enough strikes with all three pitches, it's a complete mix. And just really can pitch. Just pitches, can field his position, not going to get flustered. Solid competitor. Not overpowering stuff, it can't be up, it can't be predictable. They aren't.

    "(Righthanded reliever Mitch) Merten threw well this weekend it looked like. I guess he's had some arm problems, but he's got a good arm. Can he get the breaking ball over for a strike? He's not going to be relying on his fastball, even though it's got good life to it. He can't be predictable. That breaking ball is sharp, but it's got to be something that, OK, he can throw it for a strike, instead of just chasing the pitch. But it sounds like he's been a nice little savior for them. He certainly has closer stuff, he's got two pitches, and if he pitches down, he's certainly different than Moore.

    Taylor Sparks
    Taylor Sparks
    "They've got to get the leadoff guy on, that's really important for them. They've started leading off with Sparks, I think Skip (Gillespie) did a nice job of taking some heat off him, and saying hopefully you get some fastballs?I think that's a good move. Obviously Spencer's their best hitter, you cannot let him beat you, period. If the game's on the line, don't pitch to him. And I thought McClanahan and Munoz both took really good at-bats against us. They provide a little bit of protection for Spencer. Those guys right there can do some things. Spencer-McClanahan-Munoz is left-right-left. You're going to have to throw strikes to those guys. You can get them to chase if you get ahead, but if you don't they're going to be pretty disciplined in the strike zone, then have to have weapons to get those guys out. Then everybody else, the (Mikey) Duartes, the (Ryan) Coopers, the Rabagos, Alcantara, the little left fielder Palmer?all these guys are going to give you some different things in their at-bats, but they can all skill. Every single one of them. Rabago hasn't had a good year numbers-wise, but he's still a threat, you can't just throw stuff down the middle.

    "Sparks has power. Spencer doesn't even have power, he's more of a singles/doubles hitter. Munoz has a little bit maybe, but no, they're not a power team. Probably Oregon State's park fit their style better. If the park in Stillwater plays small, I would have to say that probably favors Oklahoma State over Irvine because of the spaciousness of the park they play at and the style that they play. If they fall behind, they're going to have to string at-bats together, versus just getting a walk and a home run.

    "I think they play good catch. They're not going to beat themselves. I think Sparks is good when it's not just the complete routine play. He's athletic and just kind of reacts and he's good that way. Rabago doesn't have a ton of range, but if he gets the ball he's going to catch it. Spencer's gotten better at first base. They're not extremely athletic in the outfield but very well coached, very disciplined, and very fundamentally sound, as you would expect from Skip's teams. McClanahan is solid, a good blocker, good receiver, throws enough. Their leg times are great. They're not going to beat themselves."

    oklahomastate
    Oklahoma State
    Coach: Josh Holliday
    Postseason History: 3rd super regional appearance. Seeking 20th trip to Omaha
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in the Stillwater regional. Won three games beating Cal State Fullerton 6-4 in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Bryan Case R Jr. .260 .406 .506 4 14 12 20 2
    1B Tanner Krietemeier B Sr. .276 .367 .449 9 48 33 43 5
    2B Tim Arakawa L Jr. .265 .399 .354 4 44 46 39 15
    3B Criag McConaughy R Sr. .312 .436 .370 1 23 16 22 5
    SS Donnie Walton B So. .311 .412 .410 3 36 38 35 7
    LF Gage Green L Jr. .322 .405 .439 3 30 20 40 20
    CF Saulyer Saxon L Sr. .275 .421 .325 1 24 34 38 5
    RF Conor Costello R So. .238 .348 .438 9 27 22 57 4
    DH Zach Fish R Jr. .312 .396 .519 11 48 32 55 4
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Jon Perrin R Jr. 8 4 0 2.23 97 28 80 .249
    SP Tyler Buffett R Fr. 2 1 0 2.95 55 24 36 .249
    SP Tyler Nurdin L Jr. 4 3 0 6.54 52 39 31 .326
    RP Brendan McCurry R Sr. 5 0 19 0.39 46 8 53 .182
    Scouting Report
    (An anonymous coach breaks down the Cowboys)

    "I think from an overall standpoint, I think the team's put together really well. When you draw up a plan to say, 'OK, we want to have strengths in these different areas, or players to accomplish these types of roles, they fit that really well. We want a good righty/lefty mix. It helps with Walton and Krietemeier being switch-hitters. But they're going to be able to match up with you and steal some bags, even when you know they're going. They'll draw some walks and hit some home runs. They have guys in there that are table-setters at the top of the lineup that have really high walk totals. I think that's part of their game plan, unless there's a guy who really pounds the zone, it's going to result in some free bases, some walks.

    "They've got some guys who can steal some bases; Green runs really well, Arakawa and Walton run pretty well. So they've got that piece. Then some guys who can juice the ball out of the yard. A base hit, a walk, then it always seemed like they'd get somebody on and one of those middle type guys, Krietemeier or Costello or Green or Fish, can jack one out of the yard. I think Green's one of the best overall players in our conference, really, as a guy who can catch and still put up those offensive numbers. And he's good behind the plate, absolutely. He does a good job with their staff when he's back there.

    Brendan McCurry (Photo by Andrew Woolley).
    Brendan McCurry (Photo by Andrew Woolley).
    "Saxon and Walton at the top see a lot of pitches. I think that's part of their strategy, to try to work some counts, especially early in the lineup and at the bottom of the lineup. Walton seems to always hit in the 2-hole, he's a real good bat-handler guy, he can execute where they want to hit-and-run or bunt, he's good in that role. The leadoff spot they move around, Green can lead off or Saxon. Green's just a really tough out. I think they change it up sometimes against lefthanded pitching, Saxon would lead off sometimes. It's the same type of thing, a scrappy little lefthanded hitter who'll see some pitches and compete. There's not a lot of easy outs in their lineup. Their power guys will swing and miss some, but they've got some juice in there too. They'll put up with those swings and misses and some of those strikeouts because they know at any given point they'll get into one and change the game. Fish is an important piece in there, he's got plenty of juice. I think he's a little better all-around hitter than Krietemeier and Costello.

    "They're outstanding defensively. They make every routine play, I think Walton does a great job at shortstop, it all starts there; if you're going to be good defensively, you've got to be good at shortstop. But they didn't give us anything. They're not going to walk you, they're not going to make mistakes defensively. They do a good job shutting down the running game on the mound.

    "From a pitching standpoint, they're just good pitchability guys, they locate the fastball, they all command the slider. When they get in trouble, they go to that slider heavy and get outs with it. Even their bullpen guys, they have some real power arms?that freshman Garrett Williams is 93-94, command is still a work in progress. With a really good slider, from the left side, as a freshman. They've got some good players over there. They've done a nice job really building a program and identifying the kind of guys who win. A bunch of those guys are 88-91 with good sliders and pitchability. Look at the back end of their bullpen, McCurry is a a tiny little dude on the mound, you look at him like, 'They brought this high school kid in here to close us out?' But he mixes arm angles and competes his butt off. (Vince) Wheeland, same thing; the stuff isn't like amazing. It's 88-90 but really, really good slider and commanded it well, always staying in good counts. I think anytime you have a strong back end of the bullpen like that, it gives you so much confidence, whether you're pitching or playing offense, you know we just need one run to give us a lead into the seventh inning, you play with a little more confidence. When you don't trust the guys at the back, you're like, 'Oh man, we need three here.' Those guys are different, they get to the seventh in a tie game, they think they're going to win it because they trust those guys in the back end. I think that kid Wheeland is the current active wins leader in the Big 12. They can bring him in in all kinds of situations, early in games if they need to or later. (Blake) Battenfield pitched a lot and pretty effectively, too.

    "Perrin is their best starter, it's the same type of thing, it's not overpowering stuff, just really competitive, does a good job in the strike zone, both sides of plate with his fastball. The breaking ball is actually a really good pitch. As a staff, they tend to go to that when they're in trouble, make you hit that breaking ball or slider. They've got good enough feel to throw that thing for a strike or out of the zone, get it to one side of the plate or the other. He would throw a changeup to lefties, and he would pitch right at 90-91."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: UC Irvine-OSU
     
  5. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Houston-Texas

    Houston (48-16) at Texas (41-19)

    Friday: 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Saturday: 2 p.m. (ESPN)
    Sunday: 2 p.m. (ESPN)

    HoustonlogoHouston
    Coach: Todd Whitting
    Postseason History: 4th super regional appearance. Seeking 3rd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Baton Rouge Regional. Won in five games, beating No. 8 LSU in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Caleb Barker R Sr. .223 .342 .299 1 28 31 36 2
    1B Casey Grayson L Sr. .325 .441 .477 6 48 50 28 1
    2B Josh Vidales B So. .268 .373 .289 0 29 38 17 11
    3B Connor Hollis R Fr. .310 .405 .350 0 8 9 16 1
    SS Frankie Ratcliff B Sr. .279 .383 .358 2 28 38 32 17
    LF Michael Pyeatt L Jr. .297 .378 .364 1 21 20 22 5
    CF Ashford Fulmer R So. .352 .397 .514 2 40 16 25 6
    RF Kyle Survance L So. .273 .325 .388 4 32 14 38 12
    DH Justin Montemayor L So. .299 .344 .373 1 31 12 47 0
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Jake Lemoine R So. 6 7 0 2.65 102 27 85 .244
    SP Aaron Garza R Jr. 9 4 0 2.67 104 10 57 .247
    SP David Longville R Jr. 1 0 0 2.88 59 8 36 .294
    RP Chase Wellbrock R Sr. 5 0 12 1.22 44 5 35 .242
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Cougars)

    "Houston is an extremely balanced club. Their pitching and defense is outstanding, but you look at their offense and they're balanced from top to bottom. Great balance of left and right, and a couple of switch-hitters. Their lefthanded hitters in the middle of that lineup do an outstanding job. They've won a lot of close games, they know how to win, they're a veteran team in many ways, and they've got a lot of experience and depth in their bullpen. A lot of guys with a lot of poise.

    Casey Grayson (Photo by Tomasso DeRosa).
    Casey Grayson (Photo by Tomasso DeRosa).
    "Look at those lefthanded hitters, Survance and Grayson and Montemayor. Grayson, an older guy who hits in the middle of their lineup, then a senior catcher back there with Barker, a righthanded hitter who does a great job behind the plate for them. To me, they understand the game of playing it one pitch at a time. They exude a lot of poise, and that's why they've won a lot of games. It's easy to look at their stats and say they do a great job with pitching and defense, but I think their lineup is very good and I think it's driven by their lefthanded hitters. Grayson brings a physical presence to the box when he stands up there. He's got a great approach at the plate, a veteran approach. He doesn't chase a lot, understands how to use the entire field. without question a guy in the middle of the lineup you have to honor. Survance has had a lot of big hits, a good runner, one of those lefties. Montemayor is a doubles hitter, gap-to-gap guy?and Survance and Montemayor are young guys, only sophomores.

    "The key for a lot of those guys is getting them on base. When you look at their offense, the one thing that strikes you as a positive is they all understand their roles. The lefthanded hitters in the middle of the lineup have done a good job driving guys in. Vidales is a switch-hitter, Frankie Ratcliff is an older guy who does a good job at shortstop. Those guys all understand their roles from an offensive standpoint. They have a handful of guys with double-digit stolen bases. Survance and Ratcliff and Fulmer, Vidales, those guys get on base and the older guys drive them in. Even Barker behind the plate, an older guy, a veteran catcher who understands the game, he is somebody you have to honor in the lineup too. They do a very good job defending up the middle with Barker, Vidales and Ratcliff, then Fulmer in center.

    Aaron Garza
    Aaron Garza
    "Their starters are good, and you look at how they've used them, they're all somewhat interchangeable. Garza and Lemoine have been a great one-two for them the entire year. Garza's the older junior, has a tremendous feel for pitching, great presence around the mound, around the zone consistently. Lemoine is a Team USA invite, great arm, been up to 95. Both of those guys are very good, and I think their bullpen is outstanding. Garza is more the three-pitch mix, pitchability guy. Lemoine is a live arm, plus velocity guy, good slider.

    "Jared Robinson is a fastball-slurve guy. He comes right at you. He's a three-pitch guy, I think his change was like a split if i remember right. The one thing they all do is they do a tremendous job establishing their fastball. (Pitching coach) Frank Anderson does a tremendous job; they're all around the strike zone, all quick to the plate, all do a good job of commanding the fastball. A lot of those guys come right at you with fastballs. Collectively as a pitching staff, they do a very good job of establishing the fastball. They have some guys who are higher-end velo guys that allow them to do that.

    "Their lefties are very good too. Jared West is a lefty with a very good arm, started for them for a while, very good fastball. They've got (Andrew) Lantrip and Longville that they can start, but Garza and Lemoine are clearly their one-two. (Tyler) Ford has got a great arm, man. He's like 87-91, 92, got a lot of appearances. A three-pitch guy, but he comes right at you with the fastball. Kind of a higher arm slot guy, a senior who comes right at you. Wellbrock is the fastball-slider guy, two-pitch guy, maybe a changeup to lefties. But comes right at you. When you look at their pitching staff, they do a really good job of establishing the fastball, and everybody does a good job with one good secondary pitch. As a team, they understand how to win, and a large part of that comes from all these guys understanding their roles."

    texas
    Texas
    Coach: Augie Garrido
    Postseason History: 9th super regional appearance. Seeking 35th trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Houston (Rice) Regional. Won in four games, beating Texas A&M in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Tres Barrera R Fr. .277 .351 .427 5 34 19 30 0
    1B Kacy Clemens L Jr. .216 .344 .254 1 17 36 43 0
    2B Brooks Marlow L Jr. .284 .399 .394 3 19 44 31 4
    3B Zane Gurwitz R Fr. .279 .328 .361 2 26 13 32 9
    SS C.J. Hinojosa R So. .293 .372 .363 1 31 27 31 3
    LF Ben Johnson R So. .271 .374 .425 6 32 29 41 20
    CF Mark Payton L Sr. .318 .460 .447 1 36 53 22 19
    RF Collin Shaw L Jr. .259 .353 .294 0 22 21 34 13
    DH Madison Carter R Sr. .362 .434 .447 1 11 11 17 3
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Nathan Thornhill R Sr. 7 2 2 1.49 91 34 56 .201
    SP Parker French R Jr. 5 5 1 2.62 89 37 59 .238
    SP Lukas Schiraldi R Jr. 7 3 0 4.08 64 39 35 .246
    RP John Curtiss R So. 2 2 8 2.23 36 13 28 .200
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Longhorns)
    "From an offensive standpoint, they're certainly opportunistic. They score so many runs with two outs, some of that is their offense. You get the leadoff guy on and bunt him over every time, you're never going to score with nobody out, either one or two. But they're athletic. That's the one thing about their lineup, very athletic. Against us, innings would get extended because they can beat out a ground ball in the hole, or beat out a slow chopper up the middle, and live to see that next guy. There wasn't as much thump in the middle of the order. Payton is a very, very good player, obviously, but calling pitches against him, you don't have the same feeling that he's going to jump the yard. Barrera is a freshman hitting cleanup for them, going to be a really good player, but still got some holes and you can pitch to him. The thing that makes them tough is their athleticism and ability not to strike out. With two strikes they made adjustments, fouled some balls off. It led to some walks and some soft contact that they beat out.

    Mark Payton
    Mark Payton (Photo by Andrew Woolley)
    "Clemens is an athletic guy over at first base. The kid Gurwitz at third plays hard; a hard-nosed kid, athletic, gets down the line well, has range in the infield. Same with Hinojosa and Marlow, and their outfielders are athletic, cover some ground up there. This is a pitching and defense team, they're going to pound the strike zone. Every one of their pitchers is able to fill up the zone. And they play really good defense behind them, so you've got to go out there and earn what you get against them. Shut down the running game, all that type of stuff.

    "Payton is a tough out. It's recognition of pitches, when you have those type of walk/strikeout numbers. And I think overall as a team, they're pretty good, same type of thing: high walk total, low strikeout total. If you can do that and you're athletic, you'll steal some extra base hits here and there. Payton sees pitches well, takes pitches. He's never off balance or out in front. With two strikes, it's really good. He'll have a 10-pitch at-bat where you're trying to go away, trying to go in, using offspeed. He can foul balls off until you walk him or leave one over the plate and he'll put a good swing on it. He's the best example on that team, but that's their approach. it's forcing you to work as a pitcher, work your pitch count, all that type of stuff.

    "The other thing about the bunt, they're good at it. You can talk about sacrifice bunting all you want, but when they put it on, they get it down. Maybe because they do it a lot and have a lot of practice. It's to the side of the field they want to lay it out to. It's actually fun to watch in a sense, they play their game and they're really good at it.

    "Ben Johnson runs pretty well, Shaw runs pretty well. Those are probably their best two runners on the team. They're going to beat out some base hits, and that athleticism will take over. The lineup has a good balance of right and left. I think Hinojosa's value to the team is leadership and attitude as much as it is anything else. He gets some big hits for them because I think he's a confident guy. He can be pitched to, opens up early and looks to pull the ball a little too much sometimes. When he's best is when he stays back and uses the whole field. We were able to work him away and he'd get himself out some. He's playing with confidence; he's playing shortstop at Texas, he knows he's supposed to be good, and he plays like it. Defensively, range was his best thing. whether it's positioning himself in the right spot or that first step, he could get to a lot of balls to his right and left.

    "All their pitchers seem to do a good job being able to pitch with their fastball, more than some other guys around the league did, who use their slider when they get in trouble. They all have some run on their fastball, some two-seam/sink type action, they can pitch with that and get some ground balls to get out of jams.

    "Thornhill was awesome when we saw him. Thornhill is an 88-89 type guy, with good movement and location, down in the zone, just attacking hitters. That's the stuff that wins. He throws a breaking ball and commands it. French competes too and keeps them in games with his two-seamer and slider.

    "Curtiss at the back end has really good stuff, up to 93-94 on the gun. A little herky-jerky, awkward delivery, but the ball explodes out of his hand, and we had trouble getting to his fastball. He had a slider too, didn't command that as well against us, but a swing-and-miss pitch."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Houston-Texas
     
  6. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Kennesaw State-Louisville

    Kennesaw State (40-22) at Louisville (48-15)

    Friday: 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Saturday: 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Sunday: 6 p.m. (ESNP2)
    KennesawState
    Kennesaw State

    Coach: Mike Sansing
    Postseason History: 1st super regional appearance. Seeking 1st trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in Tallahassee Regional. Won in four games, beating Alabama in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Max Pentecost R Jr. .423 .483 .631 9 58 29 25 17
    1B Chris McGowan L Jr. .271 .337 .376 4 44 22 42 2
    2B Cornell Nixon R Fr. .230 .315 .254 0 15 13 27 4
    3B Matt Bahnick R Jr. .269 .299 .346 2 15 8 30 1
    SS Kal Simmons B So. .268 .328 .307 1 26 22 32 3
    LF Jacob Bruce L Jr. .277 .327 .367 1 28 15 31 12
    CF Bo Way L Sr. .358 .404 .470 2 31 16 21 6
    RF Alex Liquori L So. .366 .427 .517 1 42 17 36 7
    DH Brennan Morgan R So. .291 .368 .399 4 40 20 31 2
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Travis Bergen L So. 9 4 0 2.39 94 14 75 .257
    SP Jordan Hillyer R So. 7 3 0 3.55 96 37 73 .258
    SP Gabe Friese R Fr. 2 2 0 3.19 73 15 41 .262
    RP Justin McCalvin R Jr. 5 3 16 2.09 60 18 60 .194
    Scouting Report
    (An anonymous coach breaks down the Owls)
    "I think they're one of the most complete teams we played all year. Mike Sansing does a great job, and (pitching coach) Kevin Erminio does a great job with their arms. Their starters are not overpowering, I'm not sure who they're throwing Friday. They've had first-round arms there in the past, but all their guys will be upper 80s guys with some sink and can really pitch. The guys at the back, (James) Connell and McCalvin, are phenomenal: low three-quarter arm slots, will run it up there into the mid to the upper 80s, it's a tough angle for hitters. They're very good, they've had a lot of success once they get it to those guys.

    Max Pentecost
    Max Pentecost
    "Bergen is just a big, physical lefthander, throws three pitches for strikes, and not an overpowering guy, probably 86-89 but does throw his breaking ball and changeup for strikes whenever he wants. Kevin Erminio, their pitching guy, is one of the better coaches in our game, does a great job. They're going to mix, you can't just sit fastball in fastball counts. I think that's how Bergen's been successful, really pounding the zone, coming at guys. Hillyer just has a heavy ball, tries to sink it. He'll throw the hard power slider as well, and show you the change. He was an all-conference pitcher in our league. I thought he'd be a really good matchup against Georgia Southern (in regionals), but they got to him pretty early in that game. He's a veteran guy, very mature, been around the block for a while, pitched on weekends as well. I don't think he'll be intimidated, he'll go out and attack hitters. Gabe Friese is an upper-80s guy, just will come right at you with a three-pitch mix, nothing overpowering. They sink everything and throw strikes.

    "Offensively, I really like their lineup, they've got a very athletic lineup. Obviously Pentecost is the guy, you just can't let him beat you. He is as good as billed. He's a special player, and he's a great kid?as good a player as he is, he's equally as good a young man. You just can't let him beat you. he's a true five-tool guy because he runs. If you stay back and try to defend him, he'll drop down a bunt; I've got to imagine he's probably a 6.6 runner, and of course he's got great bat speed. He's a special player. I think it happened in the Alabama game, a 2-1 ballgame, first base open, they pitched to Pentecost and he hit a double and tied it up. Sometimes the ego gets to you and you say, 'We're just going to attack this kid and see if he can do it.' So it will be interesting how they attack him. He makes you uncomfortable when he steps in the box. He might have two bunt hits, but he's the kind of player that if he wants five bunt hits in a weekend, I'll let him have them, because it's better than five doubles.

    "They've got some other guys in their lineup who are pesky, tough outs, really grind out at-bats. and they are playing with unbelievable belief fright now. They probably are the most contagious offensive team that I've seen in a while, they can really grind out some good at-bats against you. It's not always overpowering, a bloop here, a bunt here, a double in the gap, and the next thing you know it's like, oh my God, here they come. They're playing with a lot of confidence, but I think they've got their work cut out this weekend against all those power arms Louisville has. Kennesaw, being a mid-major, they've had some success against Georgia, Georgia Tech?they won't be intimidated. It's going to be a fun series. Louisville at home is a good bet, but they did draw one of the hottest teams in college baseball.

    "The one thing I would question is they really didn't play in a big environment at FSU because FSU got eliminated, so the big crowd was not there for Kennesaw's games. Dan McDonnell wants to run, he takes a lot of pride in that running game. Pentecost is one of the best catch and throw guys in the country. Do their pitchers do a great job holding runners? Not really, but they haven't had to because he throws so well. How they hold runners against Louisville will be a key matchup. Mac won't change his style no matter who's catching. When you play those big schools, that's what they try to do, put pressure on you. If you can withstand the first couple innings of pressure, your chances get better. Kennesaw will have to withstand those early blows. If they do that, and that game starts to get shorter, obviously they have a greater chance.

    "They are good up the middle. Bo Way is a good player for them. He's not your typical 4-hole hitter from a physical standpoint, not a huge kid, but he can really run and probably hitting over .350 this year. He's a baseball player. Obviously Simmons is a nice player and can do a lot of different things. I think he's a better hitter from the left side than the right side. The second baseman, Nixon, is an athletic player who can do a lot of things down in the order. Jacob Bruce hits in their 2-hole, a lefthanded hitter, he's a nice player. Alex Liquori usually plays right field for them, they usually have a defensive replacement late; he's scrappy, can grind out at-bats and run. McGowan's another lefthanded hitter with a little pop in his bat if you're not careful. They have a good mix of righthanded and lefthanded hitters in their lineup. They make the routine plays for the most part, but they're very good up the middle. Simmons and Bruce are the catalysts at the top."

    louisville
    Louisville
    Coach: Dan McDonnell
    Postseason History: 4th super regional appearance (2nd straight). Seeking 3rd trip to Omaha (2nd straight).
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Louisville Regional. Won in three games, beating Kentucky in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Kyle Gibson R Sr. .313 .358 .375 1 19 6 9 4
    1B Grant Kay R Jr. .284 .402 .407 5 35 25 26 22
    2B Zach Lucas R Jr. .267 .325 .404 5 44 18 51 7
    3B Alex Chittenden R Sr. .299 .405 .376 1 29 22 38 2
    SS Sutton Whiting L Jr. .215 .373 .283 2 17 42 49 36
    LF Jeff Gardner L Sr. .326 .403 .551 9 67 19 41 1
    CF Cole Sturgeon L Sr. .325 .410 .468 2 31 25 35 18
    RF Corey Ray L Fr. .328 .416 .507 1 17 10 18 3
    DH Nick Solak R Fr. .349 .456 .422 1 18 14 11 8
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Kyle Funkhouser R So. 13 2 0 1.68 107 54 110 .201
    SP Anthony Kidston R So. 8 0 0 3.30 63 33 57 .199
    SP Josh Rogers L Fr. 3 3 0 3.63 52 12 47 .237
    RP Nick Burdi R Jr. 3 1 16 0.54 33 10 58 .125
    Scouting Report
    (An anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinals)
    "From an offensive standpoint, the short game makes them go. The key for them offensively is to get those guys on base. Then obviously Gardner and Kay and those guys in the middle driving them in. The one thing Louisville does a really good job of consistently is they take advantage of everything you give them. If you give them something, they're going to capitalize on it. I believe that is the difference between a good and a great team, and they are a great team. And that's where their speed comes into play. If you walk them, they're going to take advantage because of their speed. The key is to get a Kay, a Sturgeon, a Whiting on base and running a little bit.

    Cole Sturgeon
    Cole Sturgeon (Photo by Andrew Woolley)
    "Jeff Gardner's one of the best players in the country, no question. Because of the success that he's had, and deservingly so, he's the guy in a big situation that they want up, and a guy you don't want to beat you. A veteran player with a tremendous approach at the plate, and he's a patient guy. He's a very patient, smart hitter. He doesn't walk a tremendous amount, he doesn't strike out a ton. To me, without question, he is one of the best players in the country.

    "Sturgeon is a ballplayer, in every aspect of it. Another lefthanded hitter for them, a senior out there, obviously can steal some bases, can run, put some pressure on you. He's a spark plug for those guys in so many different ways, and has a great arm on the mound. Whiting, when you look at Louisville, there's a lot of veteran players on that team. They understand how to be successful, don't be fooled just because he's not hitting .300?he's a good hitter, he can drag/push, use the whole field, and once he gets on base, he's stealing. And he's got a lot of walks, tough to pitch to. He understands his role as a player.

    "Louisville plays like the team they are: a veteran, experienced team who has been in the postseason, has played in close games. Every single player in that lineup exudes that level of poise, no matter what their role is. Throughout the course of the year, they have had different guys perform in clutch situations. Kay has gotten big hits for them, Lucas has gotten bit hits for them. And when you look at their numbers, they don't strike out a lot, so that is an approach. That tells you they all understand their roles and do a good job with it. One of the keys offensively for them is to get those guys on base at the top of the lineup, and as a team offensively they feel very confident they have enough players who have proven they can hit in big situations when needed.

    "I think their defense overall is outstanding. I think it starts with their outfield, I think their outfield is fast and athletic. Up the middle they're very strong, make all the routine plays on the infield. But their outfield is very athletic.

    "Funkhouser, he's a guy that throughout the year has been low to mid-90s consistently. It all starts with his fastball. He's got plus velocity, obviously has a three-pitch mix. You're going to have to work to score runs off him; he's got swing and miss type stuff. The slider is an out pitch. They certainly have some of the best power arms in the country. From top to bottom, their pitching staff has to be one of the best of any in the country, in terms of power arms. Obviously you've got Funkhouser, I guess (Jared) Ruxer's out. But Sturgeon's a great arm, obviously Burdi's a great arm, and some young guys who are great arms and can come at you with fastballs.

    Anthony Kidston (Courtesy of the University of Louisville)
    Anthony Kidston (Courtesy of the University of Louisville)
    "Kidston is an upper-80s guy with a three-pitch mix, has the ability to throw all three pitches for them. Kidston is 86-90, with a big breaking ball and a good changuep. And they do what great pitching staffs do?most of those guys have very good fastballs, they're all around the strike zone, they're all around the plate, you're going to have to earn what you get against them. Their pitching staff is very deep, very talented.

    "(Lefthanded reliever Kyle) McGrath has a good arm, about 86-89, right over the top, got a 12-6 curveball. Just a power arm out of the bullpen. Burdi is without question one of the best closers in the country. Everybody knows how hard the fastball has been. Burdi has great stuff, has been up to 100 miles an hour. But the one element of Burdi is he is a tremendous, tremendous competitor. He's not just a guy with a live arm coming right at you. He understands how to slow the game down when he needs to, and that's why he has the ability to make big pitches. He's a fastball-slider guy, works in the upper 90s. He's one of the best."

    BA - 2014 Super Breakdown: Kennesaw St-Louisville
     
  7. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Stanford-Vanderbilt

    Stanford (34-24) at Vanderbilt (44-18)

    Friday: 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Saturday: 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Sunday: 3 p.m. (ESPN2)

    stanford
    Stanford
    Coach: Mark Marquess.
    Postseason History: 10th super regional appearance. Seeking 17th trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in Bloomington Regional. Won in five games, beating No. 4 Indiana in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Brant Whiting L Jr. .280 .351 .333 1 21 15 19 0
    1B Danny Diekroeger L Sr. .307 .398 .394 2 22 23 25 8
    2B Brett Michael Doran R Sr. .234 .332 .304 1 21 22 33 3
    3B Alex Blandino R Jr. .312 .399 .540 12 42 29 30 2
    SS Tommy Edman S Fr. .258 .344 .352 3 18 24 22 3
    LF Jack Klein R Fr. .256 .385 .372 1 6 6 6 2
    CF Austin Slater R Jr. .352 .397 .514 2 40 16 25 6
    RF Zach Hoffpauir R So. .332 .389 .522 7 33 11 37 3
    DH Wayne Taylor L Jr. .240 .289 .411 4 20 9 48 2
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Cal Quantrill R Fr. 7 5 0 2.69 104 31 93 .220
    SP John Hochstatter L Jr. 10 2 0 2.84 79 29 36 .214
    SP Brett Hanewich R Fr. 4 4 0 3.42 86 10 57 .239
    RP A.J. Vanegas R Sr. 3 3 7 2.33 38.2 14 28 .230
    Scouting Report
    (An anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinal)
    "They're dangerous. They're athletic. They're physical. They've got some experience, of course, with Blandino and Diekroeger. And they are just one of those physical teams that, if you don't get ahead and you leave some pitches in the middle of the plate, they can hurt you. They're a complete mystery team. Their pitching is kind of thrown on the wall. They've got some good young arms. Quantrill obviously is a good arm. Vanegas is the wild card of that playoff. I think they're a dangerous team, a West Coast team that has some physicality to it. I think they play pretty good defense. They're athletic and they cover ground. A bigger, athletic team.

    "Hoffpauir's a football guy. They're one of those few teams that are physical and they can hold onto some guys, whereas a lot of those other physical guys aren't showing up on the West. There's no shortstops showing up on the West, no catching showing up on the West. These guys didn't have a great year, but they clearly played a very, very difficult nonconference schedule. I think it's a tough matchup for Vanderbilt. There's no fear, they've played everybody. They survived the West, survived the Indiana regional. Was that unbelievable or what?

    Alex Blandino
    Stanford's Alex Blandino (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
    "Edman's an unassuming player, but he's a good freshman. He's patient, I think he sees the ball pretty good, and he can hit a fastball. Blandino is one of the best pure hitters, clearly, in the West. He's got some pull power, and he wants the ball middle-in, he wants to pull. And he hits breaking balls good. How you get him out is you pitch him away, you cross-count him with the change. He hammers the ball in and he hammers spin, in my opinion. Diekroeger wants to pull early. Another guy that, his barrel is in the zone a long time. He'll get himself out, a little undisciplined, but he hammers righthanded pitching. His splits are big.

    "Slater is one of those big, strong, athletic guys that you don't really see a whole lot in the West. he's strong, physical, hits the ball in the middle of the field. He'll hit mistakes, likes the ball out over the plate. He's a dangerous guy. Hoffpauir's got some pop, he chases, a lot of strikeouts, low walks. But they're somewhat of a mistake-hitting team. They're physical enough that they're going to make you pay if you make mistakes. I don't really love them, but I think Blandino is completely the real deal, and they've got enough guys around him. My big worry for them is, are they too righthanded? Whiting will play, Taylor will play, Jose will play, so they may get lefthanded, and Diekroeger's a lefthanded hitter and Edman's a switch-hitter, so they'll have a decent mix. But I think those righthanders are in for a long weekend possibly.

    "On the mound, they've got young arms and they're talented arms. And they've got some power arms. Quantrill is 90-93, he's got a good arm. He's another guy that can surprise you a little bit. They could be a sneaky team. I would not rule him out this weekend. He was more fastball and presence; I think he mostly strikes people out with his fastball, not really a knockout breaking ball. I think he's going to be really good the next couple years. Hochstatter, he's OK. It's 83-86, 87. It's touch and feel, there's a change. Logan James has a pretty good arm and a pretty good breaking ball. He's a little bit of a wild card too. He's got better stuff than Hochstatter for sure. If he can throw strikes, I like him. It's a low 90s, 90-91 arm with kind of a hard slurve. He's all right, a little erratic.

    "Vanegas is the other guy that, he could go four or five innings out of the bullpen, and he's got power stuff. Vanegas, if he was healthy his whole career, they may be talking first round with him a year ago. Now he looks like he's contributing. If they're up 3-2 in the seventh or eighth, he can come in and shut them down.

    "There's certainly swagger there. They're not dirty. They're not really in your face, but they're competitive. They're a little bit like an SEC team, much more than most of the teams out west, just because of their physicality and their style a little bit. There's not a lot of short game, and they don't run that much. It's pretty much power versus power. They're kind of a wild card team. I don't think anybody expected them to be where they were. But they just kind of play. There's no Oregon to them, where Oregon manufactures runs, and Stanford is more of an athletic, physical banger team. I think their outfield can run. It's one of those outfields that plays deep, they don't take a lot of chances but they run pretty well. Blandino is solid at third, Edman is solid at short. Diekroeger is really a middle infielder playing first, he's good, and Whiting is serviceable behind the plate. They're better than you think defensively, and I think they'll be pretty good on that turf at Vanderbilt.

    "The other thing about Stanford is they run pretty good. I'm talking more like 90s, home to first. They don't steal bases, but you've got a bunch of solid runners through the bag. And they put a little pressure on defenses with their speed, not so much with their short game. They all run pretty good, but they just want to hit, they don't want to get thrown out. There's a fair share of doubles. Most teams on the West, all they can do is hit singles. This team hits doubles and some home runs. That separates them from some clubs. They're a dangerous team, and you saw that this weekend. If they get you on the ropes, they're a little bit dangerous."

    vanderbilt
    Vanderbilt
    Coach: Tim Corbin.
    Postseason History: 5th super regional appearance (2nd straight). Seeking 2nd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Nashville Regional. Won in three games, beating Oregon in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Jason Delay R Fr. .274 .386 .368 0 12 13 24 1
    1B Zander Wiel R So. .270 .379 .435 5 38 24 43 10
    2B Dansby Swanson R So. .335 .412 .490 3 32 31 40 17
    3B Xavier Turner R So. .284 .351 .375 2 33 14 29 13
    SS Vince Conde R Jr. .301 .408 .413 4 44 33 33 10
    LF Bryan Reynolds S Fr. .326 .382 .481 4 49 18 42 13
    CF John Norwood R Jr. .275 .340 .374 2 21 17 45 11
    RF Rhett Wiseman L So. .269 .329 .378 0 26 17 37 9
    DH Nolan Rogers L Fr. .214 .325 .257 0 14 14 32 3
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Tyler Beede R Jr. 8 7 0 3.20 98 43 106 .210
    SP Carson Fulmer R So. 6 1 10 1.42 70 31 72 .176
    SP Walker Buehler R So. 11 2 0 2.27 91 29 97 .218
    RP Brian Miller R Jr. 1 1 5 1.97 32 5 28 .168
    Scouting Report
    (An anonymous coach breaks down the Commodores)

    "It's just arm after arm, and every single guy is 93-95. Tyler Beede was the guy coming in with all the fanfare, and he's thrown better of late, but Carson Fulmer, and (Adam) Ravenelle out of the pen, those guys are good. Fulmer, the energy he brings on the mound, he believes he's going to win, he competes with closer stuff but for seven innings as a starter. I thought he was the best guy we saw all year. He's athletic on the mound, he holds runners. He does all the things you need a guy to do. The changeup is a great pitch, and he only needs to use that against a premium hitter who can catch up to his fastball. Against lefties with changeups, it keeps them honest. Usually he just needs the fastball-slider.

    Dansby Swanson (Photo by Cliff Welch).
    Dansby Swanson (Photo by Cliff Welch).
    "Beede was effectively wild. I definitely thought Fulmer was better than him, not a knock on Tyler. But it looked like it wasn't coming out of his hand clean, he scuffled some. These last couple starts, he's gotten back to the guy he was. The curveball, he'd throw one good one and one bad one, just inconsistent. It didn't look like he was getting into a flow. He's a good competitor, found a way to get through it, that says a lot about him. He's going to be just fine, went through a little bit of adversity, and looks like he's gotten through it. His changeup was better than his breaking ball and more consistent. But he's a legit three-pitch guy. I can see him being in someone's rotation in the big leagues for a long time.

    "You get to Sunday and you're thinking, 'OK, we might be able to get somewhere.' Not the case at all. (Tyler) Ferguson is just aggressive, gets after it. We thought watching on tape we might be able to take early and get ahead in counts, but he was dead on and threw strikes. Then you see Ravenelle, it's almost unfair to see so many arms like that. That was by far the best pitching staff we saw all year. Ravenelle was 94-95, and the slider really gave our guys a hard time. Guys just couldn't pick up the spin, a great slider, a great out pitch. The fastball was good enough where you have to cheat a little bit, and he was commanding it pretty good. Then Jared Miller, he's tough on our lefties, and he got taken out of the rotation but he's a strike-thrower. He's starting to get the ball up in the zone a little bit. Brian Miller is really tough to pick up, strike after strike, really hard on our righties with that low slot, and enough sink on it that our lefties had trouble with it too.

    "Offensively, Conde puts a lot of pressure on you, a lot of good at-bats and he can run. Reynolds is a freshman, one of the better hitters we saw all year. Reynolds made me uncomfortable. You don't normally see freshmen that make you uncomfortable, but he took really good swings, didn't swing at too many out of the zone. He had an idea of what he wanted to do; I think he's got a chance to be a great hitter. Xavier Turner, when those guys are locked into their approach and hitting balls to the middle, they give you problems with the approach. They take their walks, don't chase a lot of balls. They are a doubles team, they hit a lot of doubles. Zander Wiel has some power, can hit a long home run. Just a very competitive lineup one through nine.

    "Swanson and Conde, they get on base, score a lot of runs, can both bunt. They play the game. They have a great rapport in the middle of the infield, they understand the game, just good baseball players. The biggest thing about Dansby is he believes it. Great players believe they're great players, And he does. And he should?I think he is a great player. He's got the confidence and feel for the game. I think he has a chance to have a big, big junior year next year.

    "I thought defensively, Norwood was very good, they can put in Ro Coleman to give them good at-bats and bunt, do some things. Wiseman gives them a threat. But one through nine, there's no definite outs in the lineup. They bunt, hit-and-run, steal bases. It's built for their pitching staff. They play great defense, they already pitch it well; they're playing for low-scoring games, playing to win 4-3, but they won't give up very many.

    "Jason Delay did a really good job behind the plate, handled the staff well, did a good job on the ball in the dirt, a good thrower but not a great thrower. And he swung the bat OK. I give him an 'A' for the way he handled that staff as a freshman and hitting the way he did. I was very impressed with him.

    "I thought Vanderbilt was the best team we played all year. Overall their lineup was very good from top to bottom. And their pitching was the best."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Stanford-Vandy
     
  8. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Maryland-Virginia

    Maryland (39-21) at No. 3 Virginia (47-13)
    Saturday: Noon (ESPN2)
    Sunday: Noon (ESPN2)
    Monday: 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Print
    Maryland
    Coach: John Szefc.
    Postseason History: 1st super regional appearance. Seeking 1st trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Columbia Regional. Won in three games, beating South Carolina in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Kevin Martir R So. .276 .368 .404 4 25 13 24 3
    1B LaMonte Wade L So. .259 .373 .354 2 24 35 34 4
    2B Brandon Lowe L R-Fr. .341 .413 .417 1 26 33 18 8
    3B Jose Cuas R So. .266 .325 .415 5 42 14 45 3
    SS Blake Schmit R Sr. .307 .413 .417 1 26 18 27 16
    LF Tim Lewis L Jr. .292 .376 .313 0 13 10 21 2
    CF Charlie White L Jr. .276 .389 .360 2 28 24 17 24
    RF Anthony Papio L So. .267 .395 .354 2 26 22 49 7
    DH Nick Cieri L Fr. .250 .329 .305 0 17 14 15 2
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Jake Stinnett R Sr. 7 6 1 2.65 112 27 130 0.192
    SP Mike Shawaryn R Fr. 11 3 0 2.81 86 24 70 0.234
    SP Jake Drossner L So. 4 1 0 2.45 59 21 55 0.228
    RP Kevin Mooney R So. 1 2 12 4.05 33 18 45 0.242
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Terps)
    "You've got two electric arms with pitchability on the front end with Stinnett and Shawaryn. I think their middle bullpen is a little suspect, but their closer can be pretty electric too. They bring a blue-collar mentality, they're scrappy, fight you tooth and nail, and they've got a little bit of mojo going on right now too.

    Mike Shawaryn (Photo by Tom Priddy).
    Mike Shawaryn (Photo by Tom Priddy).
    "Shawaryn, I'm going to say is an 88-92 guy with a really good straight change, pitches to both sides of the plate, and a breaking ball, it's a three-pitch mix. He has really good poise for a true freshman, he's a physical freshman, a lot of poise and knows how to pitch. Stinnett, it's power, electric stuff. He has really good shape on the breaking ball. I think the fastball can get up to 95 or maybe 96, but it's gonna live at 92 with late life and tilt. He's got a little extra gear out there on the mound, and it's three pitches.

    "Kevin Mooney, the closer, has a fastball and a real hard 12-6 curveball, really does a good job of pounding the bottom of the zone and not afraid to throw the breaking ball at any time in the count. I think as a staff, with Szefc, (Jim) Belanger and Rob Vaughn, all three of them do an outstanding job of preparing their guys, and when it comes to game time, they let them play. If there is a weak link, it will be their middle bullpen. I think they like their first two starters and their closer, but that's probably where you get them.

    "White is a scrappy lefthanded guy that can bunt his way on, can hurt you with a double or triple in the gap, but he's going to fight pitches and really grind out at-bats. Wade doesn't show a lot of home runs, but the power is there, he's a good gap-to-gap line drive hitter. Lowe is not your typical 3-hole guy, but again, a gap-to-gap, grind-it-out, lefthanded bat. Cuas got hot in the tournament, he's got sneaky pop, a little bit of a free-swinger, but playing with a lot of energy in the postseason. Schmit is their silent MVP. Offensively, defensively, he's what Maryland baseball's about. He's that blue-collar grinder guy, I think he's a college senior, probably been told 'no' more than he's been told 'yes,' and he's out to prove something.

    "The other guys, Lewis and Papio and Cieri, give you a look from the left side, they'll fight some pitches, move runners with bunts and hitting behind, they're real good situational hitters. Martir, who they hide in the 9-hole, plays a little like Cuas, a bit of a free-swinger, but he's got a chance to run into stuff. His main job is to take care of that pitching staff, and really does a good job as a defensive catcher. They are really strong up the middle, I really like Wade over at first. But the strength of the defense is that shortstop; he's a grinder."

    virginia
    Virginia
    Coach: Brian O'Connor
    Postseason History: 5th super regional appearance (2nd straight). Seeking 3rd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Charlottesville Regional. Won in three games, beating Arkansas in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Nate Irving R Jr. .241 .344 .285 1 17 18 17 1
    1B Mike Papi L Jr. .297 .445 .498 11 51 53 53 6
    2B Branden Cogswell L Jr. .294 .394 .339 0 17 36 17 7
    3B John La Prise L So. .383 .429 .468 1 14 12 21 5
    SS Daniel Pinero R Fr. .252 .368 .277 0 17 32 21 9
    LF Derek Fisher L Jr. .288 .349 .417 3 23 11 20 4
    CF Brandon Downes R Jr. .218 .326 .365 7 35 24 40 9
    RF Joe McCarthy L So. .303 .416 .466 6 45 31 31 11
    DH Kenny Towns R Jr. .257 .367 .372 2 28 17 28 5
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Nathan Kirby L So. 9 1 0 1.36 99 24 102 .170
    SP Artie Lewicki R Sr. 6 1 0 1.72 52 10 46 .163
    SP Brandon Waddell L So. 8 3 0 2.73 92 14 63 .240
    RP Nick Howard R Jr. 2 1 19 2.15 29 12 50 .184
    Scouting Report
    (anonymous coach breaks down the Cavs)
    "I think when you're building a team, this team screams, "Omaha." It screams, "national championship." From an offensive standpoint, you have a complete balance of power and speed. You have an approach to hitting, and different approaches throughout the lineup, which drives opposing pitching coaches nuts. It's not just a gorilla ball team or a manufacture-runs team, there's balance. When you have that, and you have the left and right matchups, it can drive an opposing pitcher nuts. You combine that with a talented pitching staff, a team that plays with energy, a team that plays defense, a team that looks hungry, there's a reason why they're very successful.

    Nick Howard
    Nick Howard (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)
    "I think one of the biggest challenges in collegiate baseball is when you deal with injuries, when you're dealing with student-athletes, getting them all to click at the same time. There's no doubt, without Fisher in the lineup, they were a different lineup. I think with him back in there, they're a very scary lineup. They're dealing with a lot. They're dealing with the pressure of having the No. 1 (preseason) ranking on their chest, the draft pressure. But at the end of the day, they have a lot of talent, diversity, speed, power.

    "Cogswell's a grinder, a college grinder. He's going to work the count and use all fields. He's a threat to drive a double in the gap, but also to eat up some pitches from your starter, drop a bunt down. Pinero is a talented freshman, has the ability to use all fields, hit behind runners, move runners, drop a bunt down. Then you have guys in scoring position and you're facing Papi, McCarthy, Fisher, which is dangerous for anybody. When you've got two potential first-rounders hitting in the three- and five-hole, give me another team in the country that has that. Papi's a disciplined power guy, with the ability to be patient and run up pitch counts of a starting pitcher. If you try to pitch around him, now you have multiple guys on base with McCarthy and Fisher coming up.

    "If they don't drive the ball out of the yard, their singles can turn into doubles in a hurry because they can run. The biggest piece of that puzzle was when they got Fisher back, it got a lot of guys to breathe a little bit. He has the ability to beat out a ground ball, turn a double into a triple, or drive the ball out of the yard. It's a beautiful thing. Then when you get past him, with Towns or La Prise at third, Downes, Irving?those are experienced college guys. Irving, a nine-hole guy who has caught a bit for Team USA, he does a good job moving runners down in the bottom of the order. Downes is a guy who has hit for serious pop in his career. La Prise and Towns are college grinders. When they were missing a guy or two in their lineup, Downes might have been trying to do too much, and he was dealing with some injuries, but there's no doubt the power is there, and when he does get ahold of it, it's scary. When you make a mistake, he makes you pay.

    "Defensively you've got a Team USA catcher, a veteran, an iron horse behind the plate who does a good job controlling the staff. Cogswell moved from short to second this year because it was the best fit for the team, you've got a freshman with outstanding range who looks like a future Cal Ripken out there (Pinero). You've got your veteran guys on the corners, then three gazelles running around in the outfield. They have spacious gaps, and they play their funky shifts, but man, they cover serious ground.

    Nathan Kirby
    Nathan Kirby (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)
    "Kirby, No. 1, he's lefthanded. No. 2, he's got a little edge to him on the mound, and he's done a great job of taking on that role. It's electric stuff, it's lefthanded, power stuff. He pitches to both sides of the plate, uses all three pitches, got great angle, got velocity. You take him in combination with the other lefty, the pitchability lefty (Waddell), and I guess Lewicki is in the rotation now. Either way, it's four quality guys, with (Josh) Sborz and Lewicki, two left and two right, all with quality stuff. Waddell's a Tommy Glavine type, pitchability lefthander.

    "Connor Jones has a live arm, power fastball-slider guy, good build, good arm for a freshman. He's done a good job in that bridge-the-gap role for an inning or two. (Whit) Mayberry, that's the thing, their other bullpen guys are experienced guys, so they've been around the block a little bit. They know what it takes to compete at a high level. If they don't get the start they want, those can hold you at bay until they can chip away. Then you finish it off with maybe the most elite closer in college baseball. Howard has a power slider, above-average major league fastball, and he's an athlete on the mound in the late innings that can field the bunt and hold runners. He's got a mentality of, hey, it's game over."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Maryland-UVA
     
  9. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Mississippi-Louisiana-Lafayette

    Ole Miss (44-18) at No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (57-8)

    Saturday: 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Sunday: 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Monday: 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
    olemiss
    Ole Miss
    Coach: Mike Blanco
    Postseason History: 5th super regional appearance. Seeking 6th trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in the Oxford regional. Won three games, beating Washington 3-2 in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Will Allen R Sr. .351 .387 .524 7 59 14 40 0
    1B Sikes Orvis L Jr. .295 .399 .548 13 50 34 42 1
    2B Preston Overbey R Sr. .260 .302 .361 3 32 8 50 2
    3B Austin Anderson L Sr. .332 .418 .463 4 39 29 22 10
    SS Errol Robinson R Fr. .300 .382 .332 0 18 23 27 5
    LF Braxton Lee L Jr. .294 .382 .327 0 22 29 28 30
    CF Auston Bousfield R Jr. .349 .399 .494 6 48 16 22 17
    RF Will Jamison L Jr. .260 .311 .382 2 13 9 27 6
    DH J.B. Woodman L Fr. .329 .370 .473 2 19 10 25 10
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Chris Ellis R Jr. 1 1 0 2.16 104 32 62 .262
    SP Christian Trent L R-So. 9 0 0 2.37 95 17 73 .239
    SP Sam Smith R Jr. 5 4 0 3.39 88 18 47 .282
    RP Josh Laxer R Jr. 2 2 5 1.47 31 9 37 .233
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Rebels)
    "I thought they were the best offensive team we saw all year, just very good one through nine. Lee is a terror, he's going to run and take away from your concentration on the hitter if he's on base. Bousfield and Anderson and Allen and Orvis, one after the other. Then a senior like Overbey in the eight-hole, hasn't had a great year, but he's scary in the eight-hole. You couldn't really pitch around one of those guys in the middle because you had another one standing on deck. I thought Anderson was overall their best player, but you've got Orvis and Allen hitting right behind him. Just a scary lineup. The middle of the order scares you, but you've got to keep those guys at the top off the bases, and those guys can get on base, I'll tell you that.

    Auston Bousfield
    Auston Bousfield (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)
    "You look up and down, besides Allen and Orvis, everybody can run, everybody can steal. When your focus has to be on the hitter, it still takes it away because they can run like that. Ole Miss can score some runs, they play good defense, and Bianco is very aggressive. They hit-and-run, steal, put pressure on you. They cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Bousfield is as good an outfielder as you'll find, and Lee is a good outfielder out there. Anderson's very good at third making plays on the run, Robinson's got a lot of range at shortstop. Overbey gets it done at second. Allen does a good job behind the plate for a big guy, doesn't look like he'll move well but blocks balls well, receives well, throws OK. You have a senior catcher back there with experience, that's what you want. This is the team Mike (Bianco)'s been waiting on, a lot of juniors and seniors. If they're going to win a national championship, this is the year they could do it.

    "Orvis is a good hitter with power, but he's all pull. He can struggle if you put a good shift on him. When you put a shift on a guy and he lays down a bunt, you know you've got a guy. He hits so many balls hard to the right side, and he'll hit into that shift. He's got a lot of power and has a good idea how to hit, but does get a little pull-happy.

    "The biggest thing for them is to stay in the winners' bracket, because they don't have the depth on the mound. Ellis and Christian Trent are good, Sam Smith pitched well but his stuff isn't overpowering. I thought Chris Ellis was a really good competitor. I didn't think his stuff was overpowering, but a strike-thrower, competes. He mixed his breaking ball in, some changeups to lefties. Trent was very good, a lot of breaking balls, it's good and sharp, gave our guys a lot of problems, even though he didn't throw very hard. We felt like Sam Smith was their weak link, but he did a good job, a lot of sink, we stacked the lineup with lefties and had a lot of ground outs. You really have to make sure that he gets the ball up in the zone.

    "Bullpen-wise, (Aaron) Greenwood is very good. His slider was good, and a really competitive guy. Good fastballs, upper 80s/low 90s guy with a good breaking balls. They aren't afraid to pitch to contact but they're going to get some strikeouts too. Laxer's got a good arm, very aggressive. He's your prototypical guy you want at the back, not afraid of anything, and can run that fastball up there. (Lefthander) Jeremy Massie throws a lot of breaking balls, not a very hard thrower, but he did a very good job. He was able to throw in to our lefties and make them uncomfortable, then throw breaking balls for strikes."

    louisianalafayette
    Louisiana-Lafayette
    Coach: Tony Robichaux
    Postseason History: 3rd super regional appearance. Seeking 2nd trip to Omaha
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in the Lafayette regional. Won four games beating Mississippi State 5-3 in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Michael Strentz R Jr. .236 .292 .431 10 42 9 42 6
    1B Chase Compton L Sr. .289 .439 .392 3 44 26 14 5
    2B Jace Conrad L Jr. .377 .450 .587 9 65 17 24 22
    3B Ryan Leonards R Sr. .323 .394 .458 4 34 26 28 18
    SS Blake Trahan R So. .357 .458 .471 4 47 44 36 14
    LF Caleb Adams R Jr. .387 .509 .689 11 42 45 56 6
    CF Seth Harrison R Jr. .317 .375 .551 9 63 19 60 15
    RF Dylan Butler R Jr. .300 .383 .475 5 30 19 34 4
    DH Tyler Girouard L Jr. .335 .448 .461 2 28 28 24 4
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Austin Robichaux R Jr. 7 3 0 2.83 83 21 76 .206
    SP Carson Baranik R Jr. 11 1 0 3.27 99 23 70 .234
    SP Cody Boutte L Sr. 0 0 0 3.09 82 26 54 .250
    RP Ryan Wilson L Sr. 6 0 7 1.95 60 19 44 .226
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coaches break down the Ragin' Cajuns)

    Coach One: "They've got it going on, man. they've got a bullpen, they've got starting pitching that can go deep into a tournament. Good teams have a number of ways to beat you, and that club has a number of stars on any night.

    Jace Conrad
    Jace Conrad
    "Trahan makes them go, Conrad and him are good up the middle, Strentz is a good player. They're very skilled up the middle. It starts with Strentz, a nice player, then you go with Trahan and Conrad. he's got that high back elbow with the bat over his helmet, he gets to his front foot and get fooled and still gets one out. Then Adams, just an electric player. They have a lot of guys with that high leg kick timing swing. Adams is a big-time weight shift guy, getting out to the front foot, timing the fastball.

    They run the bases. They've got their verbal signs and their green lights. It's a really well-oiled machine right now. They're kind of like a stronger, faster version of those Coastal Carolina teams a few years ago, with the eye black and everything. They can play short and they can play big. As soon as you play back to protect the lines and the doubles, they drop a bunt down. You come in, they're going to shoot one past you. You lift at the wrong time, they're going to take third base. They don't miss a beat. They're very, very confident. It's like a West Coast offense that can just score at any time, it's crazy, crazy numbers scoring. That's a dangerous club, man. A sidearm righty can get them because of their leg kicks, they've got four or five leg-kick timing guys. A sidearm slider guy that moves east and west, that could be their Kryptonite. Or a lefty with a curveball who can backdoor them. If they get into a big park, they could be neutralized a little bit. But there are not a lot of holes in that offense."

    Coach Two: "They're very, very solid. What makes them so good is they're just really balanced, and they can run. They can have seven runs on five hits, that's what makes them so dangerous. Other teams you look up and it's 12 hits and four runs. They'll double steal with men on first and second, then a single scores two runs. Then then'll get a walk and hit a home run, and suddenly they have five runs on two hits. That's how they get you. And their pitching is good enough, it complements their offense.

    "Their whole lineup is good, you don't have a break and there isn't an out in there. But Adams and Conrad, those are the guys who seem to start a rally or come up with the big hits to cap a rally. If you're getting those guys out, you're putting pressure on the other guys. Conrad can swipe a base too. Those are the guys with the smallest holes offensively too, in my opinion. Believe it or not, Adams is not a big kid. He's got the power of a big kid, and he can run. He hits for average and he hits for power, that's why he's tearing up college baseball. He adjusts, he goes the other way. I'll bet you a third of his home runs are to the opposite field this year. you can see there are counts he's trying to pull it and hit it over the trees, then he adjusts and goes the other way. A very good hitter. For their power numbers, you'd think they're these big kids, they're not. They're normal sized, athletic and can run. They're strong for their size, they are aggressive and good hitters. What makes them so dangerous is they have power, they can run, and they can go the other way. They know exactly how to score runs, that's what a good offense does. They can score runs with more than just base hits and doubles. What kills you with those guys is you might have a 2-1 count, two outs, and first and second, and the three-hole guy might put down a bunt base hit. My God, you can't play up, you can't play for that.

    Caleb Adams and Blake Trahan
    Caleb Adams and Blake Trahan
    "Their infield, Trahan is just solid, he's a winner, a very good shortstop. Trahan can run a little bit. Compton is very good at first, Conrad at second?they're a talented college infield. Leonards at third, trahan, they all move around well and make the routine play look routine. Some guys make the routine play look hard. They field whatever they can get their hands on, very consistent defensively, and they've got good range. They make you earn everything on defense and don't give you anything. Harrison does a great job out there in center field, covers a lot of ground. Adams is in left, I know they've switched out some other guys in right with Butler and some guys. But Adams and Harrison, they cover most of the outfield. Harrison throws extremely well, he's like 90-94 off the mound, and he runs well and gets good jumps.

    "Strentz is very solid behind the plate, he's an older guy, he does a really good job. I think sometimes Tony (Robichaux) calls pitches and sometimes Strentz calls pitches. It's nice to have a guy back there you can trust that won't blow a game. And their backup is a kid named (Nick) Thurman, he's really good as well. They have (Kyle) Clement, little lefthanded hitter, he hits, then they bring in (Greg) Davis, he's had some big hits for them off the bench. Then Thurman, he's gotten some hits. They're very, very deep. You won't see a team with this kind of depth, not with the 27 on scholarship and this much parity. It's kind of a perfect storm as far as depth goes. They have three or four good hitters on the bench; you don't see that much. Usually it's the freshman with the deer in the headlights look, then a couple guys who are bitter they haven't been playing. And Girouard too, that's another guy we haven't even talked about. He's real good, can play third, DH, he can really hit too. They have four starters on the bench at any one time. That takes a couple years to put together, and they've got it.

    "On the mound, Robichaux is solid. Upper 80s, maybe up to 92. He throws a lot of strikes. He's tall and skinny and the ball gets on you. He doesn't walk you, you're not blown away by his stuff, but he pitches in on righties just enough, developed a good two-seamer that makes his breaking ball better, 91 in on you makes it that much tougher when he throws an OK breaking ball away. Baranik is good, a good slider, very deceptive with late break and a good changeup. He's probably 87-90, 91, right around there. He's got enough fastball to really make his slider effective. The slider is the pitch, and throws a good changeup, really good command.

    "Cody Boutte is the guy that's really helped solidify it on Sundays. I don't think he had a great year last year, but has really put it together this year. A slider for strikes, doesn't blow you away with his fastball, 85-87, but it runs, and he throws it to both sides of the plate. There's enough differential with his fastball and breaking ball, makes hit hard to hit: an 86 fasball then a 70 mph curveball, keeps you off balance. A nice two-seam fastball.

    "I think if anywhere they might be vulnerable, the bullpen might be it. But they have Wilson, he's done a really good job. (Reagan) Bazar, the 6-8 freshmen, he threw the breaking ball for a strike against us and did a good job. They've got (Matt) Plitt down there. I'd have to say they're solid in the pen as well. I think their bullpen is pretty good. If anything, down the last 10 to 12 games of the year, they weren't getting 15 to 17 hits a game, and their pitching won a lot of games for them late. Wilson is a lefthander, there's something to him that his ball gets on you. He's not a 90 guy, he's mid-80s, got a slider, pitches in. He's good, got a lot of confidence. You could see, he got better as the year went on last year. He's really come on. They've had some seniors on the mound really put it together on the mound. Plitt is a veteran guy too, he's got a good arm, maybe 89-91 and got a good fastball, his breaking ball is good. He's solid. Bazar, we did not see 98 like I heard, but he was 90-94 with a good breaking ball that he threw for strikes. He's really good. I wish he was a senior, but he's a freshman, so we've got to deal with him for the next two years.

    "There's no real weaknesses, except there isn't really that (Aaron) Nola or that kind of guy at the top of the rotation. They're all solid?nobody blows you away, but all solid."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Ole Miss-ULL
     
  10. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Pepperdine-TCU

    Pepperdine (42-16) at No. 7 Texas Christian (45-15)

    Saturday: 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Sunday: 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Monday: 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
    pepperdine
    Pepperdine
    Coach: Steve Rodriguez.
    Postseason History: 1st super regional appearance. Seeking 3rd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in San Luis Obispo Regional. Won in three games, beating Cal Poly in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Aaron Barnett L Fr. .373 .398 .406 0 27 10 11 1
    1B Brad Anderson R So. .295 .380 .429 5 32 24 45 1
    2B Hutton Moyer B So. .311 .389 .455 0 22 16 36 15
    3B Austin Davidson L Jr. .268 .329 .398 4 33 19 34 0
    SS Manny Jefferson R Fr. .240 .268 .317 1 27 8 32 1
    LF Brandon Caruso R Fr. .281 .342 .374 3 24 17 32 3
    CF Aaron Brown L Jr. .310 .349 .539 12 47 8 51 5
    RF Bryan Langlois R Jr. .283 .341 .374 3 34 21 36 6
    DH Chris Fornaci R So. .400 .488 .571 1 10 3 9 0
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Corey Miller R Sr. 9 4 0 1.75 113 29 80 .229
    SP Aaron Brown L Jr. 12 1 0 2.07 109 38 100 .212
    SP Jackson McClelland R So. 8 3 0 3.53 79 19 47 .266
    RP Eric Karch R Sr. 4 1 15 1.69 32 11 22 .171
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Waves)
    "They're real, man. They're a real team. They're real tough top to bottom. I think they've got some hidden guys in their lineup. Their lineup stretches out pretty far. They have some threats for power in the middle, nobody with astronomical numbers. But they take good at-bats at the bottom of the lineup, then they get to the top, and they're scary in the middle. They play great defense, and their pitching is as good as anybody's, look at their numbers. I know they play in a pitcher's park, but they can pitch. I think they were underrated, I think it worked to their advantage in the regional. They play well as a team and they can defend and pitch.

    Aaron Brown
    Pepperdine's Aaron Brown (Photo by Larry Goren)
    "Corey Miller is a cross-body righthander that I think can get it up to 90. It's a command fastball with deception, a good little short slider and a changeup. It's competitive and strikes, he doesn't walk anybody or pitch around anybody, and like most good pitchers he elevates his game with runners in scoring position, he makes his best pitches when he needs to. On paper, an 88-89 righthander is like a stock college righthander, but there's some deception to his fastball. Looking from the side, you're like, 'There's nothing really special.' But in front, it's hard to pick up the ball.

    "They all pitch very aggressive and very confident. Brown has learned to harness his competitiveness. I think it would get in the way prior to this year, and because of that he would lose more batters to walks and fall behind in counts more, and he's not doing that now. He's lefhanded and running it up to 91-92, sharp breaking ball and average changeup. He is the most athletic pitcher I've ever seen off the mound. He made a play off us that was one of the better plays I've ever seen a pitcher make in my life. He's super-athletic and competitive, and he's pitching confident. And he's got the body of work behind him to prove it. It's competitive, it's strikes, it's coming after you. Their whole pitching staff is like that.?coming after you, three-pitch mix, can stretch the zone when they need to and pound strikes when they need to. They're not running anybody out there that's (San Diego State's Michael) Cederoth, 98 or whatever, but they can pitch. And the little freshman catcher back there runs a good game for them, too.

    "Then the back end of their bullpen is good. Karch, their closer, is good?he's going to be 89-90, with adrenaline maybe 91, but a sharp breaking ball, an average change, and plus-plus command of his fastball. And it's downhill. Their pitching staff has been around, been through it. I think that's the cornerstone of their team, and it has allowed the rest of those guys to develop and win games while they're developing. They're not all old, they've got good young players.

    "Jefferson, you look at him and it looks like he doesn't have a heart rate when he's playing shortstop, and it works to his advantage. Every ball he got to, he caught and made the play. It might not be the flashiest looking guy, but every ball he got to he caught and threw a strike to the first baseman, with no panic. They do a good job controlling the running game with Barnett because they have an athletic righty going on Fridays with a quick move to first and quick to the plate. I don't think Barnett has great arm strength but it never gets exposed, because they don't have a lot of baserunners either, and they do a good job controlling running games with times to the plate and their lefthanded arms. Barnett can receive and block, but arm strength isn't his strong suit. Their righties are quick to the plate, and their lefties, it's just a guessing game then. But he's solid back there, does a good job, and their pitchers respect him. For a freshman, I thought he had pretty good command of the pitchers.

    "And then offensively, Barnett is one of those dudes that sometimes come along that, he's got a knack for the baseball finding the barrel of his bat. We threw him all kinds of different pitches, and he's got a knack for the barrel. And he's tough to strike out. Even in two-strike counts, the ball hits the sweet spot of his barrel. Not a lot of power, an occasional double, but it's like a magic wand, that barrel finds the ball, down and in, and changeups. He's one of those guys. The Jefferson kid will surprise you because he can look foolish at times, then he'll barrel up a ball. He's not scared, and I don't think the moment's going to be too big for him. He wasn't heavily recruited, and he's a good player.

    "Moyer's going to get his swings in. At one point he was leading the nation in doubles. He can hit, man. I think he's a draftable kid, good speed, got a free swing, but he's good. He sits on pitches, and it's doubles power and speed, and when he gets on base he's a threat to steal. He's probably the one guy on that team they would steal with. Austin Davidson's an underrated two-hole hitter. I don't think his numbers are indicative of the value he has on that team, and the quality at-bats he takes. And he can drive a ball into an opposite-field gap and to the pull side. It's not huge power, but it's a good swing and he's a good baseball player. You have to be pitched to in the two-hole. He's not going to slap the ball. And he's an instinctive baseball player and a really good defender.

    "They're physical in the middle. All three of those dudes are big and athletic. Aaron Brown, I talked about his athleticism pitching, but he can also go out and get a ball in center. If you're watching TV this weekend and there's 16 teams, I'm going to venture to say he's probably the best defensive outfielder. He covers tons of ground in the outfield, like a big leaguer. He's really good out there. Offensively, he's scary, he puts a hack on the ball. He does have holes in that swing, that's why the strikeouts and batting average aren't what you'd think they would be. But you've still got to throw those balls where you want to, and if you make a mistake, he's going to crush it. Pepeprdine is annually one of the toughest ballparks to hit in the country, look at the numbers. Stick him in an SEC yard, he'll have 10-12 more home runs. There's holes in his swing, but he's scary. You'd better make your pitches. The other two dudes, Langlois and Anderson, are the same way. They get their swings off, they have a plan, they change their plan depending on how they're pitched. They all adjust, and they're smart, a well-coached team. To be honest with you, with the exception of Brown, the other two guys can two-strike adjust. And it's left-right-left. And they're big physical dudes, and all three of them can leave the yard at any time. They're just trying to get those two guys on base in front of them. That lineup just starts to lengthen out. They are tough outs. Caruso and Yamaguchi, those guys back there can play. They might not be power threats, but they're tough outs.

    "I can tell you this: Pepperdine is a very confident team. And they're not confident because they got hot late. They're confident because they're good, and they've been good the entire season. This team has been good from the very first day to the very last day. And their body of work should prove that. So it's no surprise to me that they beat Cal Poly in that tournament, just because they played them in a midweek game and beat them like 11-4, then Cal Poly came back and beat them. But I think that probably helped Pepperdine going into that tournament, knowing who they are. Their pitchers do what good pitchers do, they get better when the situation calls for it. That doesn't happen a lot in college baseball. (Pitching coach) Jon Strauss has done a really good job with that staff. He's fortunate to get Corey Miler and Brown back for this year?you don't always get guys to come back, but you get those two back, they're on a mission, good leadership, good coaching, they're a talented team."

    texaschristian
    Texas Christian
    Coach: Jim Schlossnagle
    Postseason History: 4th super regional appearance. Seeking 2nd trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Fort Worth Regional. Won in three games, beating Sam Houston State in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Kyle Bacak R Sr. .257 .392 .283 0 16 24 19 6
    1B Kevin Cron R Jr. .275 .387 .423 4 38 26 38 2
    2B Garrett Crain B Jr. .340 .423 .436 1 19 18 21 8
    3B Derek Odell L Jr. .285 .360 .351 1 33 25 29 8
    SS Keaton Jones R Jr. .255 .329 .282 0 20 21 33 7
    LF Boomer White R So. .328 .378 .406 2 45 17 21 11
    CF Cody Jones B Jr. .276 .404 .325 0 17 44 43 27
    RF Dylan Fitzgerald L Sr. .317 .400 .434 2 31 22 50 6
    DH Jerrick Suiter R Jr. .268 .349 .349 0 28 13 20 3
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Brandon Finnegan L Jr. 8 3 0 2.07 91 25 122 .206
    SP Preston Morrison R Jr. 9 3 0 1.24 116 17 79 .196
    SP Tyler Alexander L Fr. 10 3 0 1.94 93 11 57 .224
    RP Riley Ferrell R So. 1 1 14 0.75 36 11 58 .133
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Horned Frogs)
    "Their pitching is electric. It's definitely, from what I saw stuff-wise, the best we saw in the conference all year, better than Texas. The kid I love, Morrison, just outstanding pitchability. To be able to mix up some arm angles and things like that. It's low three quarters, but he'll mix it up on you. He'll drop down a little bit more, not the same exact arm slot all the time, and can throw any pitch from there. He has a really good slider and a changeup. Location-wise and changing speeds, he's tough, a really, really good college pitcher. As good as I saw all year. I think he was only throwing 86-87, not a stuff monster guy.

    Preston Morrison
    Preston Morrison (Photo by John Williamson)
    "With Finnegan, you can tell it's there. It was slider, fastball, that's pretty much all we saw against him. But he was sitting around 92 and touching the mid-90s with a good slider, just a little bit up in the zone at times. I thought our guys did a good job against him offensively, we hit the slider a bit, it was up in the zone, some guys were sitting on it. But you can tell he's very good. Alexander, as a freshman, it wasn't like Finnegan or Ferrell, but he was upper 80s and just threw a ton of strikes. He's just always in the strike zone with three pitches, always in good counts, never giving us anything. They play really good defense there as well.

    "Ferrell is just lights-out. I mean, he was 95-96, with an 87 mph slider. It was crazy, unbelievable. He's around the zone enough, you can't sit there and try to work counts against him because his slider is so good, you don't want to get behind. You've got to be a little aggressive to be able to get the fastball when you can get it. I thought the (Trey) Teakell kid was really good too, he can shut you down for multiple innings to bridge the gap to the late innings.

    "They can be pitched to, certainly, if you can locate and stay in good counts. But there's definitely some dangerous guys in there. Boomer White has had a good year, and the kid Cron, you can definitely get in on him and pound him in, but when you make a mistake, he makes you pay for it. The ball jumps off his bat differently than other guys. the rest of the lineup is just scrappy enough, I think it drops off when you get to 7, 8, 9 in their lineup. The kid who really came on for them is that kid Crain. I thought he really stretched that middle of the lineup out, I think he was hitting in that 5-hole after those two guys. So Cody Jones is the leadoff guy, then Odell, White and Cron, and Crain. You watch him take BP, nothing special, he's just got a knack for squaring the ball up and putting it in play. Cody Jones obviously runs well, and he's able to handle the bat with the bunt game. I think they do a good job with how they advance some of their runners, it's not just, we're going to bunt every time. They'll also hit-and-run, they trust those bat-handlers enough to do that. There's times they'll show bunt, then get you 1-0 and go to a hit-and-run, so you can't sell out for the bunt. Odell's the same way, handles the bat really well, doesn't run like Jones but is athletic enough you can put him in motion.

    "Suiter is that 6-hole type guy. I thought we could get him with velo, and we did early, but he started getting some fastballs later against us. Those guys in those 6, 7 holes sometimes can get you if the pitchers relax at all. The other kid that can get into some balls is Fitzgerald, a really good college player, a veteran piece, the stage isn't too big for him; he will put a good swing on it. Definitely not sexy, not a ton of juice in there, but a knack for getting big hits. The last couple guys are more defense, Keaton Jones and Bacak, more defensive-oriented at important positions. I think their whole thing is pitching and defense, and not beat themselves.

    "I think sometimes when you have that kind of pitching and you know those guys will keep you in games, you play more confident, but offensively and defensively. It allows you to play a little bit looser. They play very confident defensively, bounce around out there. They're pretty solid. I think with their pitching, I think they're probably the best situated of the teams in our conference, to be honest with you. When you get to this level where these guys are, you need guys to go put up seven innings with a run, I think TCU's got the best chance to pitch it that way for a weekend."

    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Pepperdine-TCU
     
  11. HuskerFan31

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    BA - 2014 Super Regional Breakdown: College of Charleston-Texas Tech

    College of Charleston (44-17) at Texas Tech (43-19)

    Saturday: 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Sunday: 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Monday: 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Print
    College of Charleston
    Coach: Monte Lee.
    Postseason History: 2nd super regional appearance. Seeking 1st trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 4 seed in Gainsville Regional. Won in three games, beating Long Beach State in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Ryan Welke L Fr. .243 .345 .372 4 17 19 40 2
    1B Nick Pappas L Fr. .274 .327 .416 5 26 15 35 3
    2B Blake Butler R So. .286 .378 .383 3 24 33 48 6
    3B Carl Wise R So. .297 .399 .425 3 54 32 36 2
    SS Champ Rowland R Jr. .238 .303 .277 0 9 11 24 5
    LF Brandon Murray L Sr. .275 .415 .496 6 23 22 30 1
    CF Morgan Phillips R So. .250 .310 .386 2 25 13 38 4
    RF Brandon Glazer R Jr. .219 .298 .321 5 30 20 59 7
    DH Ben Boykin L Sr. .237 .364 .390 3 17 18 28 1
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Taylor Clarke R So. 10 3 0 2.62 96 30 89 .218
    SP Bailey Ober R Fr. 10 2 0 1.55 99 19 81 .190
    SP Tyler Thorton R Fr. 7 5 0 3.03 98 17 71 .222
    RP Michael Hanzlik R Sr. 2 1 16 3.35 38 13 37 .174
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coach breaks down the Cougars)
    "I think they can pitch. That certainly is their strong suit, on the mound. They're very fastball-oriented, and they're consistent strike-throwers. Not only consistent strike-throwers but obviously have some quality to their strikes. Throwing strikes is one thing, but having some angles and pitching effectively is another. I think their bullpen is in good shape. They had a setup guy come in and throw three pitches, and their closer is another strike-thrower from an unorthodox slot. For sure, their strength is their pitching. They do not do much offensively. To their credit, they take advantage of the opportunities you present to them.

    Bailey Ober
    Bailey Ober
    "Bailey Ober throws a lot of strikes, kind of big, a little non-athletic, but has a few pitches he can throw for strikes. The running game will be a little bit of an issue, because they are long and they pick a ton at first base. They pick and pick and pick and pick, they're just trying to shorten your lead up or tire you out so you're not constantly going to run on them. Clarke is their most athletic guy. Thornton and Ober have long levers, they're a little stiff, but at the same time, they repeat what they're doing. You're not walking out of there going, 'Wow, holy smokes.' I'm not minimizing what they did, but you know when you walk out of there and see a special arm. These guys just can really pitch, and you're going to have to have a good plan and hopefully you square some balls up, see if they can handle that. They've done a good job of taking guys the SEC and ACC probably passed on, and they do a good job with their system. They can really pitch with their fastball, and have the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate. the pitching coach does a good job being unpredictable and changing patterns.

    "Thornton is kind of a big, physical first baseman lookalike, offensive lineman guy, a little methodical, but got a deep arm, got a fastball and a little cutter/slider. Pounds the zone with fastballs but he's up, kind of under the ball. We hit a lot of fly balls against him. Thornton has the least pitchability and athleticism of the three starters. Clarke is really aggressive with his fastball, a little cut action to it. he pitches in, he pitches to both sides of the plate. It was 87-91, a little bit of a change at times and a little bit of a breaking ball, but I would say it's 70, 75 percent fastballs. They were fastball-driven, the whole staff.

    "Their closer, Hanzlik, is not quite low three-quarters, but kind of a low-slot guy, a strike-thrower, a little unorthodox, a little deceptive because it's not real clean, there's some moving parts, but I think that adds to his deception in that type of role. A strike-throwing guy, not afraid of contact. And I think he's older, he looks old. So he's got some experience out there. He's got some presence and poise, throws strikes. Better to get him with lefthanders when possible, righties see a heavy slider mix. The fastball's kind of true, not a sinker. A lot of fastballs early and behind, finishes with the slider, good against righthanded hitters.

    "Their first three guys in the lineup are their best guys. Their second baseman, Butler, has got to get on base for them. Blake Butler knows the strike zone, there's not a lot of speed, the swing's on line. He's gonna put the ball in play. You're going to have to make pitches if you're going to miss the bat against him. He sets the tone. It's not like he's a burner, just a good baseball player. Murray can hit, he's the left fielder. And Wise is just ultra-aggressive at the plate. And even Pappas, their 4-hole hitter as a freshman, has got some size and can hurt you, but can be pitchable. Pappas is physical, Wise is strong, and Murray is bigger than you think he is. They've got bodies, they're big and strong, even the pitchers. Even Butler, he's not physical, but he's probably 6-2. Murray's a non-defender, but really good approach at the plate, knows what he's doing, can hit a fastball, needs to get extended. You're going to have mix and cross-count and tie these guys up, get in on them, can't let them get out over the plate. Wise was extremely aggressive on first pitches. Fastball, breaking ball, it doesn't matter. It looks like a little bit of length, but at the same time, he finds a way to get the barrel to the ball depending on the velocity you throw.

    "Boykin can jump you a little bit, it's not a free pass with him. A little excitable guy, a little over-aggressive, but if you try to cookie him up, he'll get you, he can do a little damage. Phillips is a stay out of the middle of the plate, kind of the same with Glazer. These guys punch out a lot, they have a lot more strikeouts than walks. Only have 50-something stolen bases, they don't sac bunt a lot. They're going to swing the bat, in my opinion. And I think their pitching allows them to play with house money a little bit too.

    "I don't think defense is a strong suit for them, but if you don't test them and don't force the issue, then certainly they'll be better. I don't think it's awesome, I don't think it's poor, I think it's just average. I think their ability to control the running game, depending if Texas Tech can run or not, if they can get on they can create some havoc. But Charleston's not going to beat themselves on the mound. You'll have to beat them by swinging the bat and executing offense."

    Texas Tech
    texastech
    Coach: Tim Tadlock
    Postseason History: 1st super regional appearance. Seeking 1st trip to Omaha.
    Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Coral Gables Regional. Won in four games, beating Miami in the final.

    Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
    C Hunter Redman R Jr. .252 .288 .275 0 17 7 22 1
    1B Eric Gutierrez R So. .312 .409 .554 12 58 25 24 0
    2B Bryant Burleson R Jr. .283 .338 .417 2 37 12 35 2
    3B Ryan Long L Fr. .215 .311 .271 0 22 17 40 1
    SS Tim Proudfoot R Jr. .324 .387 .375 0 19 16 11 1
    LF Tyler Neslony L So. .393 .476 .614 4 31 20 14 2
    CF Devon Conley R Sr. .289 .343 .322 0 8 6 20 4
    RF Stephen Smith R Fr. .283 .420 .400 1 20 36 34 1
    DH Adam Kirsch R Sr. .300 .393 .557 10 50 35 39 0
    Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
    SP Chris Sadberry L Jr. 4 3 0 3.49 80 23 52 .273
    SP Dylan Dusek L Fr. 7 0 0 2.08 69 13 36 .238
    SP Ryan Moseley R Fr. 1 2 3 3.32 43 22 35 .209
    RP Jonny Drozd L Sr. 7 0 3 2.09 69 15 46 .237
    Scouting Report
    (Anonymous coaches break down the Red Raiders)
    Coach One: "They've had a great year. I think Tadlock does a good job with those guys, very well coached, they play hard. I think they're a different team at home. They have some really, really good offensive players in their lineup. That place plays small, and if you look at their record, they went 31-4 at home, something crazy like that. Then they went out on the road and won a regional.

    Tyler Neslony (Photo by John Williamson)
    Tyler Neslony (Photo by John Williamson)
    "I think they're built to take advantage of that ballpark. The kid Neslony, a lefthanded hitter, we just couldn't figure him out. Tried to go after him with some offspeed stuff, tried to pitch him in, but he was putting the barrel on everything. One of the toughest outs in our conference this year. The Gutierrez kid had an outstanding year, up there in the conference player of the year discussion. Big home run totals for him, some of that is probably with the ballpark. When we played those guys, they just seemed to, from an offensive standpoint, be a really confident team. It didn't faze them to be down in the count. They hit with two strikes as well as with no strikes. They have some guys that can hit the ball out of the yard with Gutierrez and Neslony and Kirsch. I think Gutierrez and Kirsch are a little more pitchable than Neslony. Now and then Gutierrez will chase a breaking ball out of the zone or will look foolish on a first-pitch changeup. But if you make a mistake, he'll make you pay for it. You can get in on him a little, but if you leave one out over the plate, he'll run it out of the park. Kirsch, you can attack him with breaking ball, we got him with both righthanded and lefthanded spin, but leave one up in the zone and he'll drive it in the gap.

    "Then they have some guys who can create some things with their legs. The kid Conley played center field for them, really athletic kid. His swing doesn't look too good, you think you can get him in with the fastball, and you can a little bit, but he can beat some balls out, make some things happen with his legs. They grinded us down by getting hits, they're aggressive early in counts. You leave a ball in the middle of the plate, whether the first pitch or fourth pitch of an at-bat, they'll be ready to hammer the thing. It seemed like every time they needed a hit, a couple guys on base with two outs, they were able to get it. I think there's something to be said for that. When you're playing confident as a team, you believe in yourself a little more, sometimes that stuff works itself out. You've got to be able to stretch your lineup out, and guys like Burleson and (Jake) Barrios, they're really aggressive hitters. A lot of first-pitch swinging. Sometimes they'll get themselves out early in counts, but they make you pitch to them.

    "The other thing those guys did well, I thought they did a good job with the bunt for a hit in sacrifice situations. A couple times, with a man at first base and nobody out or second base and nobody out, a kid like Conley wouldn't just straight sac. They'll try to push one through the four-hole or down the third-base line, able to take advantage of some athleticism and force a mistake, rather than just sac a guy over.

    "They play on turf, their defense is fine, but nothing flashy. They looked like the type of team, get them on grass, maybe not the same. Burleson at second, just a little scrappy guy, doesn't look good at times, but he'll fly around the field and square up ground balls, made a bunch of good plays. Being able to make the plays winds up being more important than the flashy actions. Proudfoot does a nice job at short. I think Proudfoot only had one error going into the conference tournament. He's not super flashy, obviously gets it done, makes plays. He fielded .990 at short, that's pretty good, don't care what surface you're playing on."

    Coach Two: "The one thing that kind of stuck out to me about all their pitchers, they did a good job of keeping the ball down. We're constantly as coaches trying to get hitters to stay on top of the ball and hit line drives, keep the ball out of the air. We didn't hit a lot of fly balls against them, we hit a lot of weak, rolled-over ground balls that didn't get through.

    "Dusek had a pretty good arm. He was 88-91. But another guy that just kept the ball down. He's got a sinker, keeps it down, a lefty, he was OK. Fastballs down and away, that's all he threw. He wrinkled it a little bit with the breaking ball, but mostly fastball. He's their best guy. Throughout the year, their starters other than Sadberry wouldn't go very long. Dusek has 13 starts and has thrown 69 innings, do the math. Even Sadberry's gone 15 starts, 80 innings. You're talking about a little over five innings per start. Those are the only two guys with double-digit starts. Sadberry has a very easy arm action, 88-92, topped out at 93. Short-armed the ball, fastball was straight, basically a two-pitch guy. Kept the ball down like a lot of their pitchers did. A lot of fastballs to the arm side of the plate, in to lefties, away to righties. He pounded away to righties. His slider was 80-81, everything was kind of hard, nothing soft about him. He tried to back-foot the slider to righthanded hitters with two strikes. The fastball had a little bit of downhill tilt to it. He could not throw the fastball in to righties or away to lefties, and he doesn't throw the changeup much.

    "I know Ryan Moseley started in the regional, he's a righthanded freshman that I thought was very good. He's a 90-93 guy with really, really good sink, arm-side run and sink, that three-quarters arm slot like a lot of their guys did. That's a name you're going to know, he was really good. Then Cameron Smith threw that shutout Monday. He throws in the mid-80s, he just works down and away to your righties, sinks it in the mid-80s, pops one in with two strikes to keep you honest.

    "The big 6-6, 6-7 lefthander Drozd is their main guy in the bullpen. He's a fastball-curve-change guy, big long lanky, low three-quarter arm slot, short-arms the ball. He was 86-88, fastball was pretty straight, kind of threw across his body. Had a slurvy breaking ball that I didn't think was that good, but from that low arm slot, he's throwing it from behind the lefties, and it's a tough pitch for lefties to pick up. He's their first guy they bring out of the pen. Then they go to Smith and Corey Taylor; he is a hard slider-fastball guy, I'd say upper 80s/low 90s, and a hard slider. Everything hard.

    "Give them credit: They did a good job keeping the ball down, their infielders made all the plays, the shortstop made a lot of plays, they turned a bunch of double plays. They did just enough."

    BA - 2014 Super Breakdown: CofC-Texas Tech
     

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