Lincoln Regional Capsule

No.
1 Nebraska (42-15)
10th
appearance, at-large, Big 12, No. 6 national seed

No.
2 Miami (36-21)
35th
appearance, at-large, Atlantic Coast

No.
3 San Francisco (38-21)
First
appearance, at-large, tied for West Coast regular season

No.
4 Manhattan (32-21)
Second
appearance, automatic, won Metro Atlantic Athletic tournament

Nebraska
steamrolled to a 36-6 start before dropping its last three conference
series to fall from first to fourth place in the Big 12. The
Cornhuskers put things back together in the conference tournament,
beating Texas for the third time in four tries before falling to
upstart Kansas in the finale. The Huskers offer a bit of everything,
ranking among the top 20 nationally in ERA (3.43), slugging (.486)
and fielding (.974). Unlike most teams in the field, Nebraska
features four quality starters in Joba Chamberlain, Tony Watson,
Johnny Dorn and Charlie Shirek. The depth of arms continues into the
bullpen, headed by closer Brett Jensen’s pinpoint control and 13
saves. Shortstop Ryan Wehrle (.367, 21 doubles) emerged as Nebraska’s
best hitter, while Luke Gorsett and Brandon Buckman combined for 29
home runs, though each slowed their pace as the season wore on. The
Huskers seek their fourth trip to Omaha since 2001.

Lincoln
can’t bring great memories to Miami, which got eliminated from
last year’s tournament in a super-regional at Hawks Field. This is a
much younger Hurricanes team that had to replace its entire rotation
but did return closer Chris Perez, who ranked third in the ACC with a
1.77 while saving 12 games. Coach Jim Morris showed no fear in
turning over close games to the righthander, who made appearances as
early as the seventh inning if necessary. Miami hitters don’t dot the
ACC leader boards, though steady junior center fielder Jon Jay makes
an appearance with his 26 steals. He also led the team with 66 runs
and a .351 average. Watch freshman second baseman Jemile Weeks;
Rickie’s younger brother is a future star who led the team with 73
hits and eight triples.

Everything
came up Dons in 2006 as San Francisco treated itself to the
best year in school history. It set a record for wins, captured its
first WCC regular-season crown, received its first ranking in the
Baseball America Top 25 and, most importantly, earned its first NCAA
bid. San Francisco won nine of its last 10 series until dropping the
WCC championship series against Pepperdine. Junior
outfielder/lefthander Scott Cousins (.352 with 21 steals; 4-2, 3.40)
became the first Don to earn WCC player of the year honors since Tagg
Bozied in 1999. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell’s 62 RBIs led the
league, and were the most since Bozied’s days as a Don. Bozied never
was named the WCC pitcher of the year (neither was former Don Jesse
Foppert); Patrick McGuigan was after winning 12 games and saving four
more while shifting between the bullpen and rotation.

Raise
your hand if you remember Manhattan’s 1957 NCAA appearance . .
. The Jaspers set a school record for wins by coming out on the good
end of nine of their last 10 games. Senior lefthander Chris Cody won
the MAAC pitching triple crown with 11-2, 1.45 numbers and 98
strikeouts in 99 innings. He threw a complete-game shutout with 10
strikeouts against Tulane in Manhattan’s season opener. Sophomore
first baseman Matt Rizzotti (.349-8-41, .479 OBP) and senior DH John
Fitzpatrick (.324-16-64) pack a strong punch in the middle of the
order.

College | #2006 #Postseason #Regional

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