College coaches break down
the super-regional teams. Sources were given anonymity in exchange for their
candor. All times are Eastern. Rankings indicate national seeds.
Saturday: Noon (ESPNU)
Sunday: 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Monday: 12:30p.m/7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
|Coastal Carolina (50-12)|
Coach (Record with school): Gary Gilmore (507-275).
|RHP||Pete Andrelczyk||Jr.||6-1 (9 sv)||3.40||45||56-11|
think the key is you’ve got to get to them early, because they’re
really tough when they have it set up in the bullpen with (senior
righthander) Joey Haug. (He’s) a breaking ball guy, throws a lot of
breaking balls and is a bulldog, then (they) follow him with Andrelczyk,
he’s 92-94, and he has about an 88 mph slider, he’s a power arm. So
they’re pretty good from about the sixth inning on. Their best
pitcher is probably Nick McCully, he’s 88-92 with a good slider, he
throws strikes and he’s good. They’ve got Bobby Gagg, a big-time
strike-thrower and competitor, but McCully’s their best guy. We
didn’t have a problem with Gagg or Wheeler, and (righty) David
Anderson doesn’t strike guys out. (Junior righty) Austin Fleet, we
hit him hard, but with their big guys they have in the pen, if they
do have the lead or are one behind or tied, they’ll probably bring in
Haug in the fifth or sixth.
offensive too. They’ve got some power, they’ve got some speed.
They’ve got a solid catcher, and probably six or seven guys in that
lineup that can hit. The Woodward kid is the fastest guy we’ve faced
all year. He gets on base, either with an HBP or walks, then all of a
sudden he’s standing on second base. Then come the three big guys:
Sappelt, Baldrige and Anderson are their main power guys, along with
Dock Doyle. We had better success against them with our lefthanders.
They’re a free-swinging deal, especially David Sappelt. He’s a guy
that we first threw him a ton of breaking balls, and he didn’t
hit us very well, so we just kept throwing them. David Anderson is a
right-center-field power guy, you’ve got to jam him up, he wants to
get extension. But he got hot late in the year, hit close to 20
homers. It’s a big swing so you might be able to get in on him.
Woodward stands up on the plate. You want to throw him in because he
bars out his arm, but then you hit him, and he steals second and
third. The guy had a really good year, and he can hit a little bit
too. Him and Dock Doyle and Sappelt are their top three guys.
just OK defensively. They’re steady but they’re not spectacular.
Baldridge had a knee injury so he’s a little slow out there in the
outfield. Sappelt can catch the ball and has a good arm. Woodward can
come in on the bunt, and he’s really quick. Doyle’s a hard-nosed kid.
He’s kind of lean and thin for a catcher, but he’s lefthanded and can
throw guys out; I could see him being a pretty good draft pick. He
looked like a leader, wanted to win. He’s very vocal sometimes, and
he threw guys out this year too. They’re average defensively.
know North Carolina’s got really good pitching, so I would think the
bigger the park, the more advantageous for North Carolina. They
haven’t played the schedule North Carolina has played, but they
played some good midweek games and they beat those guys earlier this
year. Obviously going in North Carolina’s the favorite, but maybe
this is the year Coastal can break through. They’ve done a really
|North Carolina (49-12)|
Coach (Record with school): Mike Fox (447-188-1).
CWS History: Seven trips to Omaha, last in 2007.
CWS Route: Won Cary regional in three games, beating UNC Wilmington in the final.
|RHP||Rob Wooten||Sr.||6-2 (4sv)||1.93||51||62-23|
think top to bottom, they’re one of the best teams in the country. If
not for Miami—I think Miami has a legit chance to win a national
championship—but North Carolina is right there. North Carolina has
very good offense one through nine, not what Miami’s is, but solid.
And their arms—that’s where they may end up beating Miami, because
they’re a little deeper on the mound. Miami uses its bullpen very
well with (Kyle) Bellamy and (Carlos) Gutierrez, but if you can get
to them in the sixth or seventh, they could be in some trouble. If
White or Warren don’t get to the sixth or seventh, they’ve got guys
in the middle who can get you to the end. I have to give all the
credit to their coaching staff. We were playing Harvey, as soon as he
got into trouble, they got (lefthander Brian) Moran up and he’s
dealing, and you’ve got (righty Colin) Bates and Wooten. So they’ve
got enough arms in case their starter doesn’t go deep into the games.
(Righty Tyler) Trice really good too. Everybody they threw against us
was legit—they had very good pitching.
think with White, his velocity is so good, 94-96, and even in the
conference tournament, he was very wild, but he settled down against
Virginia, and the next thing you know they only have three hits,
three runs going into the seventh. Virginia had him on the ropes, but
next thing you know you look up and it’s the seventh inning and he’s
settled down. Harvey and Warren are up and down. Harvey is a typical
freshman, he can give you a good outing, but you’re on pins and
needles, you don’t know what you’ll get. That’s where their bullpen
comes in if he gets in trouble. Warren is a guy you can get to,
little funky arm action, not overpowering, but he’s got a decent
breaking ball. He’ll be 87-91 with a little breaking ball. Sometimes
he doesn’t have great command; if you’re patient with him, he’ll
walk you a little bit.
absolutely killed us. Ackley does a good job, he’s an
unorthodox-looking kid, but he can absolutely hit and absolutely run,
he starts that thing off. Fedroff is a legit No. 3 hitter in the ACC;
he’s got a very good approach and power gap to gap. Seager was
hitting balls out to left field, pulling balls out to right field.
Chad Flack has been up and down but has some experience, same with
Garrett Gore. They’ve got some experience to help them get through
that lineup. If you rank the top three lineups in our conference, I
think you still go Miami, Floria State and then North Carolina, but
it’s not a bad lineup by any means, it’s a very good lineup. Flack,
you can get him with a breaking ball. He will hit a mistake, but he’s
also there for the heroics, will get the big hit for them, like he
did against Alabama two years ago. You can get him out with a good
breaking ball, but if you hang one or leave one out over the plate,
he can hurt you a little bit.
a pitching standpoint, you have to make sure Ackley doesn’t get on
base, and make sure Seager and Fedroff don’t hurt you. The other
guys—Federowicz, Flack, Shelton—they don’t scare you as much. If
you can contain those three sophomores, you’ll be OK. They don’t give
up a lot of runs, so you’ve got to scrap and get your runs when you
can. If you can get them early, that’s going to help you. Get to
those starters early and get a lead—it’s a lot easier to play with a
lead on those guys.”
Saturday: 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sunday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Monday: 12:30 p.m./7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
|Texas A&M (46-17)|
Coach (Record with school): Rob Childress (119-66).
CWS History: Four trips to Omaha, last in 1999.
CWS Route: Won College Station regional in four games, beating Houston in the final.
|RHP||Travis Starling||So.||8-1 (9 sv)||3.55||46||39-14|
“I like their team. They definitely run bases. They’ve got guys like Carter, older guys, then Stouffer, who hasn’t had the greatest year but is a threat. Ruggiano is an older guy who knows how to play. They have some lefthanded hitters, Luke Anders and Darby Brown, who can hurt you if you bring in righthanded pitchers. I just think they stubbed their toe down the stretch, but I like their club. I like the guys they put on the mound, those guys compete. Raley is a big-time competitor for a young kid. Their guys like to play behind him because he’s a fighter. Raley can move his fastball in and out, and he had feel for a changeup when we saw him. I’m not comparing him to Aaron Crow, but when guys get on and they’re in scoring position, that son of a buck gets out of it. He makes the right pitches at the right time. That’s impressive for a freshman. Loux, he’s been good all year long. He’s going to be a good one. He’s probably got a lot more in there. He was throwing a fastball, a cutter, sometimes a two-seamer that would run in on our hands against righthanded hitters. He got in trouble when he sometimes tried to overpower us and stuff straightened out. We didn’t see a bunch of changeups from him, but I heard he’s throwing it more. He was arm-side run with his fastball and a good slider.
“I really like Starling. (Righthanded reliever Kyle) Thebeau’s been there, he’s been through the wars and has good stuff. And Starling’s really good. We couldn’t get any patterns on him. He’ll throw fastball in, fastball away, changeup in, changeup away. A&M is one of the clubs that will throw a right-on-right changeup, left-on-left changeup—they’re not afraid to do it. I like their depth, and when you get guys on, they’ll change the game a little bit, they’ll pick, they’ll pick, they’ll step off, they’ll call time. they’ll slow it down and mess with your rhythm.
“(Offensively), they’re a pressure club. They’ll run anytime, anywhere. They’ll run first and second, no outs, one out, two outs, they don’t care. They’re going to run. And then they’ve got some guys with some thunder in the middle that can hurt you. Everybody forgets about Dane Carter, the little third baseman. He stands in there like a big dog. He’s about 5-8, 5-9, but when he loads up, he’s going to put a hurt on something. Colligan leading off is a threat if he gets on. Then they’ve got Duran, the Big 12 player of the year, then Carter, then if you’re righthanded it’s Anders and Darby Brown running in there. It’s not an easy deal, that’s for sure.
“I think to beat A&M, you have to beat them at their own game. A&M wants to get up on you early. They want to get a three-, four-, five-run lead, and then they’ll just keep fast-breaking you. If you can do that to them, that slows them down a little bit. They’re not as free to do some hit-and-running and squeezes and stuff like that. So I think you have to jump on them early. I think you have to give the nod to Rice out of the ‘pen, even though I like Starling and Thebeau. Plus Rice is at home. But if that wind shifts to where it’s blowing out, A&M can do some damage.
“They’ve got a real good club. It’ll be a great matchup with Rice. I think A&M’s more offensive than Rice is. They can do more offensively. Because A&M’s had such a good offensive year, people might take their pitching for granted, but they’ve got good pitching too.”
Coach (Record with school): Wayne Graham (785-297).
|LHP||Cole St.Clair||Sr.||9-2 (5 sv)||2.65||54||60-16|
I like about Rice is they’re a classic Wayne Graham club: hard-nosed
baseball, tougher than nails. Wayne’s always going to have them like
that. They have a very veteran club that can really pitch. At the
back end with St.Clair they’ve got a good one. Their Sunday starter
is as good as most Friday night guys. They have veterans on the
corners and they’ve got that great freshman at short, Hague—I like
him a lot. Defensively he made every play, but offensively, he’s that
guy. You try to pitch around Padron or Seastrunk, but then you run
into this kid. All of a sudden he’s got a double into the gap or
turns on the ball and it’s a two-run homer. And he makes the plays in
the middle. I think he’s a hard-nosed kid, just watching him.
is an RBI guy, tough guy to pitch to, taxes your pitching staff.
Seastrunk, you can’t make a mistake to him, he’ll make you pay. You
just can’t leave a ball over the plate. Their lineup isn’t as potent
as some they’ve had, but they’re balanced enough, and that shortstop
helped them do that. If you don’t do a good job of stopping it
they’ll run on you. They’re not locked into beating you with the long
ball, they’ll gadget a little bit and steal a run from you.
they’re very sound. Zornes played really well against us behind the
plate. They’re good in the outfield, very solid. Berry on Friday
nights is hard. Him and Ojala have good 12-to-6 breakers,
change-the-plane type pitches, that’s not easy to deal with. Ojala
might have the best stuff of all those guys, even better than Berry.
He’s he’s 90-92 with a very tight breaking ball, maybe even more
depth than what Berry had. He’s good, had good mound presence too.
Kelley didn’t have his best stuff against us.
the way I feel about their bullpen: They walked more guys against us
than they had. But they made a pitch when they had to make a pitch,
we could never stretch the lead. So is it as talented as it has been
in recent years? Maybe not. Is it competitive, is it good enough? Yes
it is. (Righthander Bryan) Price was 90-94 with a slider, and he
sinks his fastball. They pitch, so you can’t give up a bunch.”
Saturday: 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sunday: 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Monday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
|UC Irvine (41-16)|
Coach (Record with school): Mike Gillespie (41-16).
|RHP||Eric Pettis||So.||4-2 (17 sv)||1.65||43||50-17|
does have a couple of those guys that can dominate you a little bit.
Obviously they have one of the best guys in the Big West in Gorgen.
He’s always going to give you a chance to win, and it seems like even
when he’s a little off, he still only gives up two or three runs.
Their staff throws strikes, they’re not going to walk you. Orloff is
a great shortstop—he didn’t make an error in conference play.
They’re a team that has to work just like Fullerton with the short
game, the hit and run, getting guys over to score runs. I look at
Irvine and Fullerton as teams that will get it done with pitching and
defense and find ways to score runs.
indications to me are they’re just going to keep pitching like they
usually do against LSU. (The Tigers) won’t be able to hit it out of
the ballpark at will like maybe they have been able to. But Irvine is
going to pitch. Pitching and defense, they bring those things to the
ballpark every time. So I think they’ll be able to neutralize
offenses a little bit. But teams that pitch, you still have to score
not a better one-two punch than Linton and Orloff. To me their
offense goes as those two guys go. If they get going, they’ll be all
right, because everyone feeds off it. There’s probably not a better
leadoff guy in the country than Linton. He’ll get on base, you’ll get
him down 0-2 and try to do something with him and he’ll hit that 0-2
pitch somewhere. He’s solid, and then when you get on base, you know
he’s going to run. You’re concerned about it, your pitcher knows
about it, and their next guy will get better pitches to hit because
he’s up there. Orloff’s great at the short game. For me he’s a better
hit-and-run guy than a bunt guy. He’s very good at all the things you
want a No. 2 hitter to be good at. Bell in the middle there is a very
good hitter and is going to be very good. He’s a little bit young so
he’s got some holes where you can pitch to him a little bit. But he’s
a solid middle guy. The rest are execute-type guys who can do a good
job, nothing overwhelming about them. They’re going to get the job
is very good, he’s just a lefthander who has a lot of deception in
his delivery and knows how to pitch. I think a lot of teams will look
at him out on the mound and say, ‘We’re going to hit this guy,’ then
seven innings later they’re wondering how’d that guy do that? They’re
just very solid on the mound, all those guys. Pettis comes in and
throws a really heavy, sinking ball and gets ground ball outs.
(Righthanded reliever Christian) Bergmann is good, he does feature
that running, sinking fastball.
going to play good defense. I think the second baseman has changed a
little bit for them as the year has gone on, they’ve also looked for
offense at that position. They’ve gone to Stevenson now. In that
lineup, I felt like there were some younger guys who were going to be
very good down the road who weren’t quite there yet. Stevenson, Bell,
(infielder Ryan) Fisher, who I thought had a chance to be a very good
player. Cusick is a very good hitter in the middle of that lineup.
Now that he’s back (from injury), that makes them a little more
|Louisiana State (46-16-1)|
Coach (Record with school): Paul Mainieri (75-42-2).
|RHP||Jared Bradford||Sr.||10-4 (5 sv)||4.05||80||73-20|
win that many in a row (23), you have to be good and lucky and have
all that mojo going, and they’ve got all that going right now.
They’re a good club, a very good offensive club with a nice mix of
left and right and speed and power. It’s very deep, and there’s not
an automatic out in the lineup. The kids in the bottom of the order
are not as good as the kids in the middle, but you can’t relax when
you get to Nos. 7, 8, 9. Blake Dean has got to be the hottest hitter
in the country right now. He is unconscious. He hit some home runs
last year but has really come into his own with that part. He’s a
good hitter, he’s balanced, doesn’t miss a mistake very often. Clark
has real power, but he’s struck out a bunch, 56 times I think. He’ll
have a couple of bad swings, but when he runs into it, he gets all of
it. For a while, he wasn’t even playing against lefthanded pitching.
At least for part of the year he wasn’t putting good swings on
lefthanded curveballs or lefthanded pitching. They just have eight or
nine guys in the lineup that can get a hit. Dean and Clark are the
two that you remember the most, but even guys like Helenihi,
LeMahieu, Hollander’s just an older scrappy kid, Mitchell and
Landry—there’s a lot of depth throughout the lineup.
and Bradford are good, but LSU doesn’t really have the buzz-saw that
a lot of teams have that are still playing right now. They don’t have
a guy who can throw 96 or an automatic win on Friday. But they have a
lot of guys who throw strikes and a lot of different looks out of the
bullpen. Bradford has been really impressive whether he’s starting or
in relief. With Martin and Verdugo pitching so well the last four to
six weeks it has allowed Bradford to pitch at the end of games and be
very effective. (Righthanded reliever Louis) Coleman kind of
struggled two years ago, was better last year, but he has been
throwing well this year. Jordan Brown is just a solid college
pitcher. Not to downplay those three guys, but they’re just solid
college guys, they all throw strikes, they mix it up, but none of
them have big-time swing-and-miss pitches or big time velocity. But
if you just throw strikes, play good defense and bang it around a
bit, you’ll have a good chance to score more than other team, which
solid defensively. Hollander’s just a good, scrappy older kid, been
through the league for three years. I would say he’s probably an
above-average defender over there. LeMahieu’s had a nice year at
shortstop, especially for a freshman. Schimpf at second base has been
solid. Clark is a little heavy-footed. (First baseman/catcher Sean)
Ochinko came in as a catcher; those guys (at first) did fine when we
played them, but I would imagine Irvine’s going to pressure those
guys with the push bunt. Gibbs is solid. He’s a stocky, strong-bodied
freshman. He’s pretty much caught every game. A lot of times we see
freshmen play that much and they wear down, but he’s a solid
receiver, solid thrower. I’m sure he’ll get tested this weekend, but
he was just fine against us.
got to pitch to beat them. That’s the strength of their club is the
offensive part of the game. You’ve got to hold them to four or five
runs, you can’t let them bang it around like they have been. That’ll
be an interesting matchup because they have two totally different
styles of play. Irvine’s the California short game-type deal, they’re
going to be playing in Alex Box Stadium, where the ball travels
well—it’s a hitter’s ballpark. LSU definitely has more power, so
Irvine will definitely have to keep the ball in the yard. It’s hard
to pick against a team that’s won 23 in a row and is playing at home.
I like LSU. They’re a good team and hot—there’s a lot to like.”
Saturday: 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sunday: 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Monday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
|Fresno State (40-28)|
Coach (Record with school): Mike Batesole (212-162).