College of Charleston could be off the hook. The top-seeded Cougars were eliminated from the Southern Conference tournament earlier today, seemingly opening the door for second-seeded Western Carolina to snatch an at-large regional bid away from CofC by winning a couple of games. But WCU couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, as Georgia Southern scored a run in the bottom of the ninth against Catamounts closer Greg Holland to bounce Western from the tournament.
Comparing Western’s at-large resume with Charleston’s, two things stick out. First, the Catamounts have much better nonconference wins under their belts, including single wins against Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina State and Georgia and a pair of victories against Ohio State. The two teams are very close in the RPI, but College of Charleston swept the head-to-head series against WCU, winning two of the games by one run. That series might ultimately be the difference, trumping WCU’s more impressive nonconference resume.